It's easy to trust in God for a short period of time. But, after a while, our peace and faith begins to quietly disintegrate. As month by month slips by, as year by year passes, God's promises can feel more like a pipe dream than a reality. Our hearts grow hard. Bitterness takes root. We've waited so long and God still seems to be withholding something good from us. Others haven't waited as long and blessing after blessing rains down on their lives. Truth no longer penetrates the defenses we've put up and we start to take things into our own hands.
Wives, singles, daughters, mothers... We are all waiting on something. Our senior pastor, Eric, recently preached on the temptation to take practical shortcuts. He taught out of Genesis 16, the story of Sarai and Hagar, and the tragedy that erupts from Sarai's impatience. Sarai is promised a child, but after ten years of waiting she asks her husband, Abram, to have a child with her maidservant. When Sarah gets what she wants and Hagar conceives, chaos ensues and everyone involved suffers. (You can listen to it here.)
Throughout this sermon, Eric repeated a simple truth, "Faith always requires us to wait." I've always been impatient. As a little girl, I thought I would be happy when I was a teenager. Then, middle school left me longing for high school. High school found me anticipating college. College and career would never be as satisfying as marriage and motherhood. Surely, when I was married, I would be able to trust God with the present and stop longing for whatever was on my horizon. Boy, was I wrong. In past 26 years, the only thing I can say with surety is that you will always have something to trust God with. Heaven won't require faith, but every season of this life will. Romans 8:32 promises, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not graciously give us all things?" Again, it says a few verse prior, "And we know for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
There was grace for Sarai and Hagar. Their failure still worked together for good. God did not withhold a child from Sarai because she acted on her unbelief. Thirteen years later, she gave birth to Isaac. Waiting cannot separate us from his promises. Instead of growing weary and steeling myself against these familiar truths, I want to genuinely embrace the promises in Romans 8. The present isn't a purposeless waiting game. These trials are working together for my good and his purpose. And, the God who has forgiven me so much, whose has made me an heir in an eternal kingdom, will graciously give me all that I need. This week, in those crippling moments when it feels like there is no end in sight, I hope I can thank God because he doesn't ask me to live by sight, but faith, and his promises aren't limited by my timeframe. (2 Corinthians 5:7, 2 Peter 3:8-9)
"Be patient. Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there." Elisabeth Elliot
Posted by Heather Kneisler