By Stephanie Montague
No matter who you are or how old you may be, time is the great equalizer. No matter what your financial status is right now we all have twenty-four hours in a day. Time isn’t your friend or your enemy. We all have said, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” but if something horrible happens, time seems to move at a snail’s pace. No matter how you view time, you are very much aware of it. More importantly you are aware of time because when there are things you desire, time doesn’t move fast enough.
Personally, I am hyper-aware of time. There are times I feel like I’m so far behind. There is this imaginary race in my head…and I’m not in first place. The race is against where I think I should be at this time in my life. This “race” isn’t about anyone else as much as the timeline of events that I feel I should have happen. Oh, don’t make me feel like I’m all alone on this one! I know you’ve said, “I should be married by….” or “I should have my first child by…” or “I should have a good job by….” or “I can’t believe I don’t have or this hasn’t happened to me yet and X years old!” We demand answers from God and exclaim, “When God will it be MY time?
There are countless accounts in the Bible when man’s time was completely out the window. Things didn’t happen when timing seemed “right”. We are going to look at an account one of which is common to most yet you can never hear it enough…it’s the story of Abraham and Sarah.
There are many great accounts/stories in the Bible that show you just how God works in His own time but none takes it to the eleventh hour quite like Abraham and Sarah’s story. The very first thing you learn about Sarai (Sarah’s name before God changed it) was that she was barren Genesis 11:30. This sounds kind of harsh. However, it’s so abrupt and in your face that you cannot miss this fact. The reason it’s stated in such an upfront way is so you know that major and important events are on the horizon. No doubt this wasn’t a good feeling for Sarai. Women then and now desire to be mothers and Sarai was no exception. We skip ahead to Genesis 12 and we find Abram (Abraham’s name before God changed it) at seventy-five being told to leave the land where his family lives. More importantly in verse 2 God tells Abram He’s going to make a great nation from him. Huh? I just said Abram was seventy-five with no child (Genesis 12:4). Many people wouldn’t want to be parents at seventy-five…but here is God saying you’re going to bring a great nation. Could we believe this? Could you expect such a great promise at a stage when you think the moment has passed? At such a seemingly late time in our life God says, I have healing for you, children for you, joy for you, prosperity for you, a new house for you, a new car for you, a new adventure for you, school for you. Would you say, “Why didn’t you give it to me when I was young and could really enjoy it or do it with greater strength?”
In Genesis 12:7 God tells Abram that He will give his seed all the land that have passed through. There was no present seed. Abram and Sarai had no baby. God gave you a promise…but He didn’t tell you when. Will you believe despite your age or the clock on the wall?
In an effort to move things along, Sarai suggested that Abram sleep with Hagar her maid (Genesis 16:2). Now I have to pause here. I’m not even going to talk about Sarai sending her husband in to sleep with another woman (ladies you already know what can be said about that) but let’s focus on what we do to make things happen quicker. Sarai thought she had a great idea to get the promise child. We feel like things should have already happen suddenly we have a “bright idea” we see an “option” or “alternative path” to where we think we should be or have. Next thing you know we’re off and running…we get what we think we want. Unfortunately we often blaze a path filled with the mess we’ve made. We may or may not obtain the “thing” but we certain obtain the scares from doing it ourselves. This isn’t to say that you should never do another thing but it is to say that there is a right timing to all things. The bible says in Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.”
When God does in the right timing it’s done correctly and there is joy and peace for us when receive it or arrive “there”. Sarai thought I can make the promise happen faster but the sadness of realizing what she had done was too much to take. The child was not the promise child (although God still blessed him) and it caused a wedge in the household and Hagar and her child were cast out. There is something to be said for waiting on God’s timing.
We come to Genesis 17. God is establishing his promise and covenant with Abram and Sarai. He changes their name to Abraham and Sarah and tells Abraham that he will be the father of many nations. Fast forward to Genesis 21, verses 1-2 says “And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.” Notice the words, “at the set time”. We may not know what the set time is in our lives but God surely does.
The bibles says in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The beginning of pleasing God is to have faith in Him and his abilities and who He is. Once this is in place God says He is a REWARDER to them that diligently seek him. Grab ahold of this powerful scripture. Let’s have a pleasing relationship with God by having faith in Him and that He knows the best path and time to get you where you need to be in life.
Psalm 31:15 (a) “My times are in your hands;…”NIV version. God having a “set time” for us is where faith, trust and belief come into play. We have to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. We are to acknowledge him and in turn He says he SHALL direct your path. Shall means with a doubt, it is inevitable, a promise you can stand on it, God places his word above His own name Psalm 138:2 “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” You cannot have more assurance that these scriptures. Let the Author and Finisher of our faith…the One who created you and knows your season align things in His perfect timing. Phillippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:…” Be confident in Him.