Inspired by Genesis 21:1-7
“The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.” Genesis 21:1-2 (NRSV)
The Lord has promised us many things. He has promised to be with us, to deliver us, to save us. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see how God can keep his promises—everything seems to be going against the will of the Lord, and it seems as though God is taking too long to come through.
When Abraham was seventy-five years old, and his wife Sarah was sixty-five, God called Abraham away from his father’s house. God promised to make of him a great nation, even though Abraham and Sarah were childless. Abraham followed where God led, but they remained childless, despite God’s restating his promise to Abraham several times. After eleven years of waiting for the Lord to deliver, Sarah and Abraham decided to take matters into their own hands, and tried to give Abraham offspring through Sarah’s slave-girl Hagar. Hagar did indeed bear Abraham a son, but this was not how God had intended for it to happen, so this was not the son through whom God would make Abraham a great nation. It wasn’t until after another fourteen years had passed, when Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah was ninety—well beyond her childbearing years—that she conceived and bore Abraham the son God had promised twenty-five years earlier.
God has his own plans for us, and he keeps his own schedule. Even though it may appear that the odds against God are growing, God is able to make the impossible possible. Had Sarah conceived at a more traditional age, Abraham and Sarah may have believed that their child was responsible for his own fortunes. But by waiting until Sarah was well past menopause, there could be no doubt that this child was born as the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Let us pray. Faithful God, you have promised your people great things. Grant us the patience to wait on you, that we may recognize your activity within and beyond the natural unfolding of events. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.