Dear Sarah, Your story has always been one of the ones that perplexed me the most. As a married woman I try to wrap my mind around why you would give your husband into the arms of another woman and I cannot understand it… But as a woman who waits and has waited in desperation I totally get it. Desperation can make you do some foolish things. I guess that’s why God wants us to be desperate for Him.
I can imagine Abraham coming to you after God made the covenant with him and how you must have felt. Here you were married to your husband for all these years and now God has made a covenant with him that he would be the father of many nations, yet you haven’t been able to bear children.
I wonder if you felt like this was cruel and usual punishment. I’m not sure of how it was in your day but I can imagine the people despising you because you didn’t have a child… Maybe you felt ashamed because Abraham had everything and the one thing you could give him didn’t happen…yet. I can say yet in hindsight because I have the whole story, all you had in the moment was the obstacles staring in your face.
When I consider all that you might have experienced I can in some ways understand why you would create your own solution to give Abraham a seed. But Sarah, this wasn’t God’s solution. His promise was to Abraham as much as it was to you! As Abraham’s wife, you would also be the mother of many nations! In the moments leading up to you giving Hagar to your husband you considered all the odds against you, mainly your age. How could a woman no longer at child bearing age bring forth an heir? You must have rationalized that the heir had to come from one of your servants that you would give to Abraham.
But Sarah why didn’t you trust God at His word? At this point God had blessed you both so much, did you think that He couldn’t do this for you?
I know what it feels like to look at all the odds against you as you wait for the fulfillment of a promise. The words of people around you ring in your ear like a broken record that can’t be turned off. Sometimes their are times of clarity where you are sure of the promise and others where doubt steps in… When you severely want something it’s hard to be patient and wait.. So Sarah, I empathize with you– As a woman who is waiting and has waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the waiting period is where God gets to see where our heart lies. Do we cling more to the promise than we do to Him? Are we motivated by the eventual fulfillment of the promise or by our love and reverence for Him. When we desire God above all else, receiving a promise that seems impossible will not cause us to loose focus. This person is confident in God, loves Him, has faith and is strengthened by Him. They know that they don’t have to earn the promise. Their role is to believe and love God, the promise giver. He’s the one that is able to bring the promise to pass! There’s nothing we can do to speed up the process, but we can hinder it! How? By going about configuring our own solutions and method to obtain the promise. When I look at your story I see redemption. I see how God took impossibility and made it possible. I see how God took unbelief and showed us that when He says something nothing can stop it from coming to pass– His intentions will remain even when we try to help Him with our short-sighted solutions.
Sarah, your story is inspiration for many of us who await the fulfillment of God’s promises, particularly His promise in the midst of “impossible situations”. God has shown me that not only is He the redeemer but He is also faithful. Even though many can fault you for your impatience, we have a human condition that refuses to humble itself to God. I see that condition rising up within me but I have to remember that what God says He will do. I pray that as God’s children we remember that the promise is never greater than the promise giver! Thank you for bearing Issac, Sarah! Shalom!
With Gratitude, A woman pregnant with His promises