WHEN PROMISES TAKE A LONG TIME
The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. Genesis 21:1-3
I look at Abraham and Sarah’s life in retrospect and it’s plain to see that God fulfilled every single promise. He did it in ‘His appointed time’, not theirs. From their perspective, He took a long time. As they waited, they doubted, blamed, and took matters into their own hands. It’s hard when promises take a long time to materialize.
When others look at my life in retrospect, they will also see that God was true to every promise He made. It is only I, in the midst of waiting, who struggles. Because some promises don’t come true when I think they should, I am tempted to distrust the One who made them. But I cannot live my life as an island. I must place my story into the whole context of scripture, the mega-story, to learn about the nature of the Promise-Giver. If He has never, ever, broken His Word, would He really start with me?
From the time God first promised the birth of Isaac to the time Sarah became pregnant was 25 years. I can groan at the thought of such waiting. Yet, that’s nothing. The ‘appointed time’ for the birth of Abraham’s greater offspring would occur 2,000 years later – in the birth of Christ. God is never in a hurry and never feels pressured to make things happen because I’m unhappy.
I sometimes judge my life and my effectiveness by worldly standards. The prime of life, supposedly, occurs in one’s thirties. By the time I’m fifty, others believe I’ve lived my dreams and am working toward retirement. It’s hogwash. God didn’t even make His promise about Isaac until Abraham was 75. Some of the most effective trailblazers for the kingdom didn’t even warm up until their later years. When God promises fruitfulness, we can’t feel pressured by age, education, ability, or human weakness. When God calls a man or woman, they are equipped. Period. His promises will be fulfilled ‘at the appointed time’ and that is right on time. In this I rest – as I wait.
You know what I still pray for ~ and in what promises I stand. I adjust my clock to Your calendar. Amen
Journal Question: What promise has God made to you that you’re still waiting to see fulfilled? What is your posture? If it’s anything but hopeful expectation, talk to your Father about it.