We’ve been studying the life of Abraham in the small group at the jail; and there’s one thing I’ve picked up on, especially the Old Testament, is you have to pay close attention to the details. For instance in Genesis 15 God promises Abraham an heir that would come from his own body. Moving on into chapter 16 we discover ten years has passed. So we have no record of what took place in those ten years. We are simply told “After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.”
I have been as guilty as the next guy in thinking that my life somehow wasn’t measuring up because it didn’t seem God was interacting with me as often as He did the Old Testament saints. The problem is as you read through moving from one chapter to the next you actually may be covering many years in single verses. For instance in Exodus the story is told of how Moses killed an Egyptian defending a Hebrew. He goes on the run from fear of getting caught and it’s forty long years later when he comes across the burning bush. Then we read where God speaks to him about leading His people out of slavery. Wow, for forty years there is no record of God speaking to Moses. We wonder where He’s at as soon as something happens we don’t like and yet He let Moses herd sheep for forty years in the desert before speaking to him. I wonder if Moses thought God had left him forever. Do you think Moses might have felt as if God was simply through with him?
Looking back to the story of Abraham again we see in chapter 16 Sarah apparently became impatient after ten years of waiting on God’s promise of an heir so she devised a plan. She gave Abraham her handmaiden Hagar in order to produce the promised child. Most of you probably know the story so I won’t rehash it here but at the end of chapter 16 we read where Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
Picking up immediately in chapter 17 Abraham is 99 years old. So from the last verse of chapter 16 to the first verse of 17 13 yrs. has passed. Once again we have no record of the events that took place during those 13 yrs. I guess what I’m attempting to say in a round about way is as a Christian we are going to have to learn how to wait. God lives outside of time and from our vantage point it may look or feel as if He isn’t paying attention at all but this is where that tiny word “faith” comes in. God loves nothing more than when His people trust Him. So I encourage you today to take a deep breath and quietly say to yourself “God’s got this.”
Let me just say, I don’t know where Tom Petty stands with Jesus Christ but apparently he does know this, “The waiting is the hardest part.”