If asked, our grandparents would probably agree that this generation is one of the smartest but also one of the weakest. It has stripped us of experiences that teach us hard work and patience. We are so accustomed to having things now. We don’t fully understand the importance of being patient for things. We get annoyed if the line at Wendy’s is too long, we get frustrated if our texts don’t send fast enough and our Twitter timelines go crazy with people tweeting about how their Instagram is loading slowly whenever there is a malfunction. As a whole, we don’t know how to wait.
With this generation being the way it is, naturally, when we ask God for something or ask Him to deliver us from something, we want Him to show up and handle it then and there. When God doesn’t immediately do as we ask, we have the audacity to doubt Him and Who He Is. Who do we think we are? He is not ON our time, we are IN His time.
God works in His KAIROS not on our CHRONOS.
-“Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.”
God created time. He is outside of time and inside of time at the same time. He is in the past, present and future all at once. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – yes. Maybe because He never changes, but maybe it is also because He is in ALL THREE time frames AT ONCE.
Although this generation struggles with patience, we aren’t the only generation that has had to learn patience and trust God’s timing.
There are two biblical stories that I’m going to use to talk about God’s timing in this blog post. Both are very well known amongst most believers and even nonbelievers. Since they are so well known I think we kind of brush over the story without really dissecting and analyzing them and looking at the different things that God is trying to teach us through them. (The Bible is full of hidden messages waiting to be uncovered by those who truly care to know the mysteries of God. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter”. Prov.25:2)
So I am going to share what I’ve learned after studying these stories.
The biblical stories are:
Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 15-22) – Our Response to God’s Timing and Our Lack of Trust
Joseph (Genesis 37-50) – Trusting God’s Timing
Our Response to God’s Timing
I lightly touched the story of Abraham and Sarah in the “Blessings” post but I am going to touch it a little more heavily here…
The Story of Abraham and Sarah –(if you need a refresher…)
Abram and Sarai were an old couple yet had no children because Sarai was barren. Being barren is a big deal to most women but back in this time, being barren was shameful and looked down upon. Women were supposed to supply their husband with many children (hopefully sons).
In Genesis 15:4 God promises Abram a son in his old age. Abram believed God for this promise and God credited Abram’s faith to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6) However, when Abram spoke to his wife, Sarai, she convinced him to sleep with her slave girl and to have a son by her. (Genesis 16:1-2)
SAY WHAT??? IS THIS CHICK CRAZY??? SHE MUST HAVE LOST HER MIND!!! There is no way in the world I would let my husband sleep with another woman!
But Abram agreed to what she told him and so he married the slave girl, Hagar (Gen. 16:3), and had a son with her at the age of 86. They named the son, Ishmael.
POINT NUMERO UNO
BE WATCHFUL of those closest to you who encourage and persuade you to go before God’s timing. Those who do this aren’t true friends and aren’t faithful family.
Abram was believing God for his promised son but allowed a woman to convince him to take things into his own hands, causing a mess. (Guys, how many times have we seen this play out in times today?)
After Hagar became pregnant, she resented Sarai and Sarai had the nerve to blame Abram for everything even though it was all her idea. (Genesis 16:5)
-Often those who influence you to do negative and even stupid things, then blame you for the negative outcome.
When Abram was 99 God appeared to him. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of many nations”. He also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah and promises once again to bless Abraham with a son by Sarah.
WHAT WAS ABRAHAM’S RESPONSE TO THIS???
HE LAUGHS (Genesis 17:17)
God tells him again, “…your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.”
Isaac means, he laughs.
In chapter 18, three visitors appear before Abraham and one tells him that, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Sarah overheard the man and LAUGHED.
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But He said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
In the end, God blesses Abraham and Sarah with the promised son, Isaac in their old age of 100 (Abraham) and 90 (Sarah).
What to Grasp from the Story
There are many points in this biblical story that stood out to me.
- For one, I admired how, even in his old age, Abraham believed God when He promised to give him a son. However, that admiration quickly turned into disappointment when he allowed his wife, Sarah, to dilute that belief.
But anytime you read the Word, you haven’t really read it until you apply it to your life, so the next thought that popped into my mind when I read this was, “How many times have I trusted God for a thing and then once I go around telling my “friends” and “family” what God has promised me, I allow them to make me doubt the very thing that I trusted God for?
- Another part of the story that stood out to me, stood out to me the most. Not only did Sarah doubt, not only did she cause Abraham to doubt, but she even convinced him to marry, sleep with, and impregnate her slave girl!!! To me this was messed up on so many levels, spiritually, secularly, emotionally, and mentally. This was spiritually messed up because, for one, she doubted God and then caused someone connected to her to doubt God as well. We have to be very careful as to not doubt God when He has promised us a thing (or even doubt Him period). The Bible tells us that if we believe we shall receive. We also must be careful if we do doubt, that we don’t spread that doubting spirit causing someone connected to us to stumble and doubt, as well. Doubting God is a form of disbelief in God. When you look at it that way, doubting seems a little more serious doesn’t it?
How many times have we doubted something, whether it be a promise of God, or something small like you and your friends getting to school on time? That doubt spreads so quickly and affects others around us. But Sarah didn’t stop there at doubting God, like many of us, she took things into her own hands. However this act was more than just taking things into her own hands. Actions speak louder than words and with these actions she was yelling to God that He didn’t know what He was doing, that He wasn’t powerful enough, that He took too long and that she knows better than to wait any longer and is going to just do things her way. But she obviously didn’t know what she was doing, in the verse she even says, “…perhaps I can build a family through her.” Genesis 16:2, showing that she had doubt in her own plan.
Sarah’s actions were irrational and extreme! (Be careful to not do irrational, extreme things in desperate situations.)
She had to be delusional to give HER HUSBAND OVER TO HER SLAVE GIRL, to marry, sleep with and have a child with! I wish I would let my man marry another woman and have a child with her. You better adopt, LOL. I know this was a different time period where it wasn’t unusual for a man to have multiple wives but honestly in all seriousness…
When we take things into our own hands, at the moment, it may seem and feel as though we are handling things, but we are really fumbling things and causing a greater mess for God to have to fix later because we can’t fix it on our own.
(This whole ordeal with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Hagar having Ishmael caused a huge mess that carries on into this present age but that’s a story for another blog post.)
- The next point in the story that stands out here is that even once Abraham and Sarah stepped out of the Will of God, He forgave and still promised to bless THEM with a son. But when God comes back and promises them this again, both of them respond by laughing!
I mean it’s not like God just quietly whispered it through the wind, but He spoke it clearly Himself and even sent a man in flesh and blood to tell them of this promise so they knew “it was real”. A lot of times God promises us things but we don’t fully trust it yet, “we need a sign” that it’s really from God and going to happen.
Well God sent them that when he sent a man to tell them and they still found it as something to laugh at. I couldn’t believe that they would laugh at God but then I had to reflect and think of times when people may have come and told me something that God told them to give me and I laughed it off and said, “Oh no that’s not me, I don’t see myself doing that.” It’s the same thing. DOUBT IS DOUBT, whether it be in laughing form or not.
Do you laugh at promises of God because you feel that it’s too late, it’s bad timing, the opportunity has passed, or you’re just too old at this point? Abraham and Sarah doubted because they were old, but God doesn’t care about time, age, or circumstances, HE’S GOD. HE created time, HE gives us old age, and HE shifts circumstances.
It doesn’t matter the timing, it doesn’t matter how long it may take, if God promises something, it’s a done deal. In Him, those promises are yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Trust God and His timing…It’s perfect.
“Take it from us…it is so much easier in the long run to just trust God and His timing. Right Sarah?”