Tuesday, April 27, 2010
We learn that Sarai, has not been able to conceive a child. God had made a promise to Abram, but never mentioned his wife. I'm sure that it was a given that God would bless Abram and Sarai with a child, but why didn't he mention her?
Sarai, gets tired of waiting and takes the situation into her own hands. This is where it goes downhill quickly! She gives her maidservant to Abram as a wife, so that he can have children. It was a custom at that time, for men to adopt servant children as heirs, if they didn't have children of their own. Hagar conceives a child. Animosity and tension builds between the two women.
Again, the Lord appears to Abram and says Hagar's child is not the one he will bless. There is another child that will come from Sarai (who is now 90 years old) and this child will be the son that God intends to bless and make fruitful.
So, Sarai (now called Sarah) messed up because she didn't wait on God. She didn't wait for Him to fulfill the promise that he made with Abram (now called Abraham).
I have been thinking about my life and the times I have waited on God, either patiently or impatiently. There are also plenty of times that I have not waited. I can completely identify with Sarah. God made a deal with Abraham and never directly mentioned who the mother would be. So, maybe He didn't mean her? She was in a holding pattern and felt like she needed to do something. She didn't want to be the one standing in the way of her husband's blessing. There have been opportunities in my life that came up, and I wonder "am I supposed to move on this or do I wait on God"? There have been times I have stepped out on faith, things don't go well and I wonder "was I wrong for moving ahead"?
In The Feminine Soul by Janet Davis, she speaks to this topic. "At times our exclusion from God's work is as real as Sarai's infertility. In those times it is far easier to draw false conclusions, to blame, and to settle for less than it is to persevere in our vision, struggle, and unfulfilled desire. It is critically important to own that we, like Sarai, have sometimes been the first ones to give up the vision of our contribution to the whole of the church, unwilling to remain engaged in the difficult and painful struggle."
It is easier to think, than wait. I start thinking instead of waiting. I think myself right out of the plan that God had prepared. It can be so painful! Things happened between Sarai and Hagar that would have never occurred if Sarai had only waited.
I am not finished with this study. Here are my questions:
How do we know when to wait?
How do we know when to step out on faith?
Why didn't God mention Sarai/Sarah until the final covenant?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
God, help me! I am in an ugly place!
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Father, save me and deliver me.
Psalm 7:1-2 O LORD my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
Lord, help me to be happy.
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Father, please fill me with joy.
Psalm 4:7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound
God, I praise you!1 Samuel 2:1-10
1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
"My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 "There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 "Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 "The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 "The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
"For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's;
upon them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
"It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
"He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed."
You alone are worthy of praise.
Friday, April 16, 2010
It is scary and difficult for me to be real sometimes. It is not easy to share my deepest experiences, thoughts or insecurities. I constantly wonder what others will think. I clean my house before anyone comes over, so they will not see the piles of paper, the toys and various clothing items that litter the house from one end to the other. When I speak, I filter my words and edit myself so others will not think less of me. To some extent this is good- feelings don't get hurt when I slow down and choose words more carefully. But, at times it is not real, it is not who I am.
I do this in daily life and I started wondering, do I do this with God? I will confess, that lately my prayer life has been rather stagnant. There are so many people and requests on my prayer list and I send out little prayers throughout the day. But, I have not had a good quiet prayer time in a while. I let myself get caught up in perfectionism (maybe an evil whisper) and it silenced me. "Am I saying the right thing? Am I asking the right way? Is this Gods will? What does He think? Do I sound like a whining child?"
This morning however, I started to journal. So many thoughts came to me. God loves us at every moment of our lives. He wants to hear from us, no matter what we sound like. If I were perfect, I wouldn't need Him. We learn through each stage of life and He is our teacher.
I thought of my children. When they were little, I taught them sign language so that they could communicate their needs before they could speak. As they learned to talk, we continued to use our sign language and added simple speech into the mix. Now, they are speaking in sentences. Some of them are grammatically correct and others are not. I encourage them to use please and thank you. When they forget, I simply say "try again, but nicer this time". I don't get angry or condemn, I am trying to teach them. Through it all, I love them. I love to teach them, I love to watch them develop and learn. I see their progress everyday and my heart swells with pride to see the wonderful people that they are becoming.
How much more does God love us? How much more patience does He have? Each step of our life He can see our progress. He remembers where we started and He knows where we are going. He is so proud of us in this moment when we reach out and talk with him. No matter what we sound like. To Him, it is good.