When Impatience Births An Ishmael

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭

I love my mom. She’s just amazing.

And like any amazing mom, she is full of advice. Like, “Don’t go outside barefoot! You’ll catch a cold!” Or “Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water..” because somehow every single pain, problem or even potential problem is directly related to the quantity of H2O I have consumed (mostly have not) that day.

Besides all the practical advice, I have been blessed with a mom who gives amazing spiritual advice. Side note: if you do not have a godly woman to get spiritual advice from, find someone! Don’t let it be someone who will give you the advice you want to hear or always side with you, but someone who will tell you that hard things you need to hear, who backs it up with Scipture, and who delivers it in love.

One of her most famous spiritual advice quotes is: “Do right!” Simple, right? Let’s imagine you’re heading out the front door with your “significant other” during those awkward dating years, your chaperone sibling in tow (who doesn’t really care to be a third wheel anyway) and suddenly you hear what sounds like Snow White summoning all the little woodland creatures from every corner of the universe with a song… “Doooo riiiiight, til the stars fall… doooo riiiiight, dooooo riiiight!!” Ok, thanks, mom.

Even though the advice has be hard to take at times when I’ve needed it most, in retrospect I have always valued it. She continues to be an example of a true Christian and follows this verse: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” ‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭10:24‬)

Her most sobering advice she has ever given me is one I always remember in a time of serious decision: “Don’t be a Sarah..”

The story of Sarah and Abraham is one we all know. The couple in whose seed would a great nation arise – a nation that God would choose for Himself – to love and protect it, to bless it and through it bless all other nations of the entire world. But there was one problem – they didn’t have any children, not one. And to seal their fate they were old, VERY old. But they had been given a promise and to this promise they held.

Now Sarah is following her husband, to a place they don’t know where, to make a nation of children they don’t even have, and that time for her is now passed. What is she to do?

Like any other woman, she has a plan. She knows the promise – “God will make a nation of the seed of Abraham.” So she devised to have her handmaiden Hagar bare the promised son. (Genesis 16) Because, think about it, she had never had a child all these years before the promise came, and now even more time has passed since they have received the promise. It’s been four whole chapters!

I find myself often in Sarah’s shoes. I feel I have the promise from God’s Word, something directly spoken to me about my life and I stop there. I stop involving God. I receive His Word, claim the truth as mine and then begin my own steps.

“God’s Promise, without His Timing, leads us out of His Way.

I have to wait for God to fulfill His promises to me in His timing so I can continue in His way.

We know the end of the story. God did use Sarah and allow her the joy of birthing the promised son to her husband Abraham. God’s promise was fulfilled in His timing, in his way. (Genesis 22:1)

There is also great hurt from this story. Ishmael is born. Sarah disposes of him and of his mother Hagar once the true promised son Isaac has come. Abraham feels bad that He is not the chosen son, he loves him. God extends the blessing to Ishmael since He promised to bless the seed of Abraham. The even greater hurt is that we continue to see the battle of the firstborn rights out in the Middle East even to this day.

This. This has stuck with me when I want to manipulate and make things happen, my way and my terms.

“God is more concerned with timing than He is with time.

How foolish of me to want to speed up the plan when I run the risk of missing it altogether. My impatience becomes my sin. My worry becomes unbelief.

I will wait.

And I will wait for my Isaac.

2 thoughts on “When Impatience Births An Ishmael

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