Friday, January 29: Genesis 17- The long wait.

Numbers and names caught my attention, Abram’s names in particular. Abram means ‘exalted father’ and Abraham likely means ‘father of many.’ Particularly in a culture where names are important, I wondered how it must have been for Abram to live all those years with the name ‘exalted father’ but yet not be able to father a child of your own. How that must have stung!

Then God almighty meets with Abram, promises again to make him into a great nation and changes his name to Abraham. Yet his only son, at this point, is the son of a maidservant and the Lord says that son doesn’t count! You will have a son with your wife, Sarai, now to be called Sarah. Abraham is 99 years old at this point and Sarah 90.

At this point I thought about the numbers and the ages. How many decades have Abraham and Sarah been waiting? Waiting for God’s promise??

Waiting is often difficult. Waiting, delayed gratification, is a life skill we must all learn. We have all seen children melt down, no longer able to wait for whatever… “I want a ___ fill in the blank.”

As adults we can mask our poor waiting skills better than children but many of us still balk at waiting. God made Abram wait… and wait… and wait. God sometimes makes me wait.

Be still, the Psalmist writes, and know that I am God (Ps 46:10). That is godly waiting.

Wait for the Lord, sings the Psalmist on another occasion (Ps 27:14 and other places).

Waiting is often when God does His work in us.

And so my thoughts of God spun this morning…

Lord, I am not a good waiter… I need help and strength in this compartment of my life. Help me, I pray. Amen.


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