Having the patience to wait for God to deliver on his promises can be quite the struggle.
Last week I read the account in Genesis 15, where God promises Abram that he will provide him his own heir, despite his old age.
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4)
But in his and Sarai’s old age, it was hard to believe that promise. Or, at least, it was hard not to take it into their own hands. Because surely, if God made them a promise, they better figure out how to make it come to fruition, right?? Oh boy.
In chapter 16, Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (v. 2)
Are you cringing with me? As soon as I read this, I thought to myself, how often to I take the promises of God into my own hands? I don’t have the faith to trust he will bring that promise to fruition because it seems impossible. And once I’ve heard the promise, I want it now.
I mean, how else was Sarai going to produce an heir in her old age? Like Sarai, I’m often hasty and impatient and I settle for a lesser version of God’s promises. I cash in quickly, jump to the wrong conclusions, and get myself into a mess I could have prevented had I waited on the Lord to fulfill his word.
Not only did Sarai’s plan not fulfill God’s promise (he had other plans), but it also bred contempt between Sarai and Abram, Sarai and her servant Hagar, and Sarai and Hagar’s son Ishmael. What a mess.
God, protect my hasty and impatient heart from settling on what seem to be “quick fixes” to my concerns. Help me to wait for your deliverance, your solution and your ways – and to wait with expectant hope that you will provide in your perfect ways.
What helps you to determine what is from God and what is from your impatient desires? How do you make sure to listen for God’s plans instead of hastily making your own?