The conception and birth of Ishmael reminds me of the trouble we can create when we try to bring about ‘God’s’ promises through our means…
Abram has been promised heirs more numerous than the stars in the sky. What a great promise, but one that is hard to believe when you do not have even one child.
Troublingly, God’s timing isn’t often our timing. So Abram waits and I am sure tries to have a child with Sarai for 10 years! Nothing. Who wouldn’t be discouraged?
So his Sarai has an idea… how about a surrogate? “My female slave can carry your child, Abe”.
The plan sounds good until it happens and now the slave has given Abram a son, but Sarai hasn’t! Tension!!! Problems. Pain. Trouble.
Sarai and Abram’s trials mirror our human lot when we try to play God and bring about God’s will and promises through our ingenuity. What arrogance to think we can play God. And yet most of us do this to one degree or another throughout our life.
God, forgive me for all the times I tried to bring about Your will or Your promise through my effort. So often, Lord, this happens when I cannot wait for You any longer to work whatever it is You desire to work in order to bring about Your plan. Lord, give me the wisdom of the Psalmist who calls out to ‘wait on the Lord.’
Lord, help me to wait… expectantly, faithfully, wait when Your will is to wait. And, Lord, likewise, help me to rise up and go… expectantly, faithfully, go when Your will is to go. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.