THE LURE OF HOPELESSNESS
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And 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 by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16:2
See what hopelessness has produced once it was verbalized? Abram, who loved ‘hopeless Sarai’, empathized, then shared her hopelessness, then embraced her dangerous suggestion. The thing that’s missing from all of this is prayer. Sarai didn’t take her plight to God. Abram, who listening to her crying, didn’t offer to make a sacrifice, build an altar, and get on his face with his wife. They engineered a human solution and oh, how the world has suffered since.
Unbelief, which leads to hopelessness, is a cancer. It metastasizes like wildfire because the natural tendency of human beings is to rebel and wander in unbelief. It goes against every natural grain in my being to have faith. That’s why I must fight for it! What little I have, I must guard with my life. I must surround myself with others who are also fighting for faith because when I am my weakest and most vulnerable, they can pray for me and whisper God’s promises in my ear.
There is a cross for every child of God to bear. Though I can think someone else’s life looks perfect, it isn’t. They also cry in the night about that thing that breaks their heart. Over the nearly 60 years of my life, I’ve had more than a few say they wish they could be me, and live my life, thinking it’s nearly perfect. I have laughed out loud, believe me. I think to myself, “Really, you want to be me? Do you really want the story that has gone with the calling? I don’t think so.” All of us speak out of ignorance.
The cross God has given me is mine to carry, not abandon. Yet, I can spend all my energy trying to figure out how to engineer a solution to it. Instead, I should submit to God and ask for the daily grace to carry the cross well. If Abram and Sarai’s cross had been permanent barrenness; God would have carried them on the wings of faith. The irony is, He promised them a miracle. Deliverance was coming. But in the difficult waiting period, they chose to walk in unbelief. Hagar and Abram’s union would be a disaster.
If you are about to enact a human solution to that which seems too crushing to bear, stop! Either ask God to show you what to do and wait for Him to move or let us be like the Apostle Paul. Though he asked for the thorn in the flesh to be removed, God did not do it. Paul submitted, and through his weakness, He experienced the strength God gives. So much so ~ that it became the focal point of His stories. All His boasting was in the keeping power of Christ.
What will I do if some of my prayers are not answered the way I want? I vow to be faithful, rely on Your grace, and speak well of you. Amen