“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.”Genesis 16:1-3
I know I am not alone in being inpatient at times. There have been instances in which I have failed to trust God, and I even wondered if He had forgotten about me. The things I thought should happen did not happen, or they did not happen in the timing I thought they should. We are constrained by the element of time, but God is not bound by time, or by anything for that matter. We often make mistakes by rushing into things, and we always are mistaken when we do not wait for Him.
I was a teenager when my cousin came to visit from California. She was in town for the weekend, and I was excited to spend time with her. She came over to my house on a Saturday morning, and I was excited for our day together. The problem was that she had made plans for us to go see another friend who lived way across town, and we had no way to get over there. My aunt offered to take us the 18 miles or so to her house, but I still had to ask permission to go.
At that time, my mom worked nights and she had just gone to sleep prior to my cousin coming over. I thought she would be okay with me going, but I knew I was not allowed to go anywhere without asking her permission first. I weighed my options and then decided not to wake her and just go with my cousin, figuring my mom would be okay with whatever I chose. I did not leave a note because I figured I would be home before my mom got up. We went to our friend’s house, and we were having good time as the day went on. By this time, it was late in the afternoon, and I simply forgot about telling my mom where I was. The phone rang at my friend’s, and it was my mom and dad who wanted to speak with me.
I thought I would casually explain why I had not waited for permission, but I really did not get a chance to say much of anything. My dad came on the phone and told me he had plans to take me to the Phoenix Suns game that night, but I was not home and he did not want to waste time to pick me up. He told me that I had better be home before he got home from the Suns game or else it was going to be a real bad day for me. I told him I did not have a ride home and then he strongly suggested that I quit talking to him and start walking immediately. I said goodbye and immediately headed for the door. My cousin and friend asked me where I was going, and I briefly told them that I needed to be home in four hours or my goose was cooked. I began walking towards my house and was about three or four miles down the road when my friend’s sister-in-law graciously found me and took me home. I missed out on going to see the Suns in the Coliseum for the last time, and I got grounded as well. I learned that I cannot override parental authority strictly for the sake of not wanting to wait for an answer.
I think of Abram and Sarai in these verses and how in the previous chapter God had promised Abram that his seed would be so great that it would not be able to be numbered. He told Abram that his generations would be in number like the sand on the seashore, but it seemed Abram was not willing to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Sarai thought of another way to play God by taking the matter into her own hands. As the story unfolds, we see the damage this caused in their marriage, and the damage this causes still today in the Middle East and throughout the world. We must rely on the promises of God and trust in them or we will be saddled with the consequences of our actions. Sarai’s plan was not God’s plan, and if she and her husband both would have waited for God to provide, they would not have faced the many problems that ensued due to their lack of faith.
Where are you today friend? Have you been unwilling to wait on God even though you know it is the right thing to do? Have you taken matters into your own hands, hoping for a better result instead of trusting in Almighty God? Are you standing on the promises of God or are you sinking in the quicksand that comes from a lack of faith? Do you take God at His word, or are you looking for your own solution to something only He can do? May we do as Psalm 27:14 instructs us, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”