By Allen White
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Genesis 16:1-2 (NIV)
Eleven years into the promise, Abram had moved as God had directed. While he “possessed” the land on the outskirts of Canaan living in a tent, the thought of starting “a great nation” was inconceivable (sorry). How could Abram father a great nation when he hadn’t fathered a child? Hope was growing dimmer with each passing day.
Sarai decided to take initiative. Maybe she saw God’s plan making her husband miserable. Maybe she realized that the problem was hers. Sarai took matters into her own hands and proposed an unconventional (read: “sinful”) way to fulfill God’s promise. Abram consented without much resistance. What followed was much anguish and regret. The act brought punishment in itself, and still fell short of fulfilling God’s plan.
The problem with impossibility is that it just doesn’t seem possible. The beauty of it is that nothing is impossible with God.
When our son, Samuel, was a baby, he spent much of his first five months in intensive care. What started out as a “quick” repair of his esophagus was met by complications and infection. We prayed that God would heal our baby through the doctors’ care. Samuel continued to get worse. Why wasn’t God answering our prayers? It was agonizing.
We believed that God is good. We believed that God was all-powerful. We believed that God could heal. We believed that God answered prayer. Our theology was impeccable. Our God just wasn’t cooperating.
Finally, after several weeks, as Samuel proceeded to get sicker, the doctors weren’t giving us much hope. They were going to attempt one more surgery and weren’t sure he would survive that.
The night before the surgery, a woman from our church named Carol was awakened in the night. Carol began to pray for Samuel.
The next day, when Samuel returned from surgery, the hospital personnel marveled. The frequent comment was “he came back an entirely different baby.” If God had answered our first prayers for healing, the comment might have been, “well, that antibiotic worked well.” But, bringing our little guy back from the brink, well, that took more than just great medicine. And, everybody knew it.
What seems impossible to you today? How might you be tempted to take matters into your own hands? Wait. Use this experience to draw closer to God.
(Now, if you are truly in a life threatening situation, please use your God-given common sense and get out of it. If you’re not sure, then give your church a call.)
To make a tax deductible donation to Galatians 4:19 Ministries:
To subscribe or leave a comment on the galatians419 devotional blog:http://galatians419.blogspot.com