“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”’
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
As He promises so He delivers.
For the past few weeks we’ve heard the promise made by the Lord to Abraham as He assured him that no servant would inherit his house, as He told him that his son by Hagar would not be his heir. For the past few chapters and verses God had told him time and time again that He and His wife Sarah, they would have a child together and this child would be the father of a nation, giving to them descendants that would rival the number of stars in the sky. Now, it had come true. The blessed promise of the Lord given to him time and time again, spoken from on high, re-assured to him and his wife during time of doubt, would come to fruition as Sarah, now into her ninth decade of life, would give birth to a son, Isaac, who would be the heir of Abraham.
We only read the story for a short time, but for Abraham and Sarah who lived it, it had to seem like a lifetime, an eternity, since God first appeared and told them of His divine plan. Even hearing the words it seemed so improbable and they were so unsure of it, they sought to bring it about through their own means, and their own wisdom, somehow believing that either God was mistaken or He meant something different than the word that He had spoken to them. When He made it clear they were wrong, they waited, but even as she entered her 90th year Sarah found that it was becoming more and more difficult to believe that promise. After all, for almost a century she laid barren, unable to conceive, to suddenly be able to now, it defied logic, reason and common sense as she found that it was too much for her even as she heard the words being spoken by those visitors to Abraham’s tent.
Yet, despite their meddling, whatever their apprehension, no matter their doubts, God worked His plan according to His will in His time. He did not conform to the situation or to the world that was around his children, but, in full faithfulness to His Word, He transformed it around them to make the impossible come to pass. After all, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:13) What we are reminded of is that “The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never ceases, for His compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) In this moment, this time of sheer joy and blessing from the Lord, as He works to make His will happen by the miracle of His love, we see not only the unfailing compassion, but the true nature of His great faithfulness as He makes good even on that which seems so incomprehensible to us.
You see, when Christ tells to us “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He is reminding us that all things are possible through our Heavenly Father, there is no challenge to big or struggle that is too great that He can’t overcome it from us. For the lives and the well-being of His children, in hope and mercy for their futures He will move mountains to guide them down the path of His divine will for their lives. His plans, His designs for your life are bigger than anything that this world might hold, and He is willing to prove it to you each and every day, offering to you peace in the blessed assurances of His encompassing word.
Yes, that means that we have to ultimately trust in Him, we have to have faith, understanding that, in and of itself, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) That means we aren’t necessarily going to see God at work, we aren’t going to necessarily see how He is working things in our favor as He moves in ways that transcend our understanding and that go beyond our ability to see. Yet, in His time, in His way, with a perfect understanding of who we are, what we need, and what we are capable of moves to guide us, to lead us down His path that we may follow His way according to His righteousness.
This perhaps means that we have to wait, sometimes longer than we would hope to. That’s okay. Our Heavenly Father looks at each of our lives, knowing full well who we are and what we are capable of. More than we ourselves know, more than we ourselves can understand, He realizes when we will be ready. We cannot rush that any more than we can speed up time itself to get ahead of ourselves without stumbling or falling on the path, without taking a wrong direction or a wrong turn along the way.
It can be hard for us. We don’t like to give up control. We don’t like to hand over power or to admit that there is something or someone who is greater than us moving in our lives. More than that though we live in a world of instant answers and instant gratification. We hate to wait on anything as we struggle with our short attention spans and our even shorter patience. We want it all and we want it all right now. Yet that isn’t the way God works. He isn’t a search engine nor can His plans be shipped in two-days with a Prime Membership. For the richest blessings of His divine righteousness we must be willing to put it into God’s hands without question, reservation or misgivings, we must be willing to give complete control to Him, knowing that He is greater than we could ever be. It is only then that we can begin to be prepared for the full measure of His righteousness working through our lives and in our lives.
Look then to God dear brothers and sisters even as He looks to you. Remember that there is nothing that is impossible for Him and when He sets His sights on you, as He works His way through your life there is nothing that can stop Him, nor is there anything that is too hard for Him. He deals with the impossible each and every day, and He has since before time itself began its long march. He is capable of miracles, and, in the very small and the very large, He works them into your lives in the places you would least expect in ways that you might not understand or expect. Giving freely and without reservation the perfection of His divine will then manifests perfectly in your life even as He weaves it through it to clothe you in His love for you.
Think not then to the struggle that you face in getting there, nor to the challenges that perhaps lay before you, about how hard or difficult it might be. Instead take joy in the knowledge that He will make you more than a conqueror, giving to you the strength that you need to overcome and the courage to face whatever it might be that will come your way. Find peace in the knowledge that His blessings, they lay in front of you, waiting for you to take hold of them. Know that He is working with you and within you to shape you, to guide you, to create the sincere heart and mind, the courageous spirit and soul that is necessary to truly understand what it is that He has planned for you. There are not going to be any easy answers along the way, nor is it going to be just some simple quick fix sort of thing. It is a road to righteousness, to edification and sanctification and, in that, God knows that you need to be ready and prepared for everything that it holds for you.
Let God’s walk then be your walk. Let His promises be your blueprint for a stronger faith and a road map to greater righteousness. He is, in His divine love and infinite mercy leading you, even if you can’t see the where to or the how quite yet. Like Abraham and Sarah He might just be telling you that right now is not the time, He might be saying that there is more that you need to know, there is more that He has to show you and teach you, but the time will come when everything will come to fulfillment as He wondrously and gloriously moves through your life to give you the ability to be more and have more than you ever thought possible in the wondrous design of His grand plan for your life. Take the time then to humble yourself before Him, to meditate on His word and His will, and know that, in faith, in hope, and in mercy, He will never fail you, nor will He ever abandon you as He lifts the veil that rests over your eyes to show you more than you ever thought to be possible.
That is His blessing to You and His promise as His dearly beloved child, born again in the precious blood of the Lamb. Let it then be your strength through all the difficulties and trials of this life as He reveals Himself to be the God of promises fulfilled.
Now may the peace of the Lord, that encompassing, transcending peace that surpasses all human knowledge and understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus even unto life everlasting, Amen.