Everything But…

Something missing in life?

When you get desperate for something, what do you do?  Trust God, or try to make things happen by yourself.

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

The Lord’s Promise to Abram

15 Later the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision, “Abram, don’t be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly.”

But Abram answered, “Lord All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own. You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything.”

The Lord replied, “No, he won’t! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That’s how many descendants you will have.” Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord was pleased with him.

The Lord Makes Another Promise to Abram

The Lord said to Abram, “I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land.”

Abram asked, “Lord God, how can I know the land will be mine?”

Then the Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram obeyed the Lord. Then he cut the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11 And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening.

18 At that time the Lord made an agreement with Abram and told him:

I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River.

God promises Abram that he will protect and reward him.  He has no need to be afraid.

Yet, Abram is a bold as to tell God what is missing from his life.  How desperately he yearned for a child.

The pain of despair, of longing, of not knowing how life can be complete.

And God makes a promise.  The strange animal cutting in half, smoke and fire are part of God’s promise.  The land will not be going to some distant relative of Abram’s, but his very own son.  God’s promises are good.

The most intriguing part of Abram’s story to me is that despite this promise, Abram still could not believe it.  He didn’t trust in God to fulfil his promise, but worked to manipulate it all to happen when he thought God wasn’t working fast enough, or in the way he wanted.  Only a few verses later, Abram and Sarai make their own plan, that Sarai’s servant will bear him a child.

God promises, but they don’t trust him, and try to work things out themselves.

God doesn’t always promise us our hearts desire, but he does promise us we do not need to be afraid.  We can trust God.  We truly don’t have to try to manipulate things ourselves.  When Abram and Sarai did, things didn’t work out any better, in fact they made things much worse.

Trusting God is hard.  Especially when he doesn’t seem to be doing anything, when it seems he is not following through on the promises he has made.

But God does and he will – in his way and his time, but he can be relied on.  We don’t need to be afraid.

Lord,

sometimes it so hard,

things don’t seem to be going the way I think they should,

or at the speed I would like them to.

You know my heart’s desire,

the thing that tears me apart.

I don’t want to be afraid,

to be consumed by longing.

Lord,

may I trust you

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3 thoughts on “Everything But…

  1. So simple and yet so challenging – to hear the promise of God, to believe the promise of God – and then to _wait_ for the fulfilment of that promise. To be prepared to accept God’s timetable and agenda rather than our own.
    Thank you Pam.

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