01 June 2015

Sarah + Rushing Ahead

Recently I found myself in an emotional hurricane.  The kind where something is brewing deep but you fear being out in it.  Fed up with condition I strapped junior into the stroller and headed out to walk and hash this out with God.  I walked with intensity and fervor.  Soon sweating and begging God to calm and clarify this inner storm.  At some point my son fell asleep, but I was not finished.  

For 90 minutes I crossed the neighborhood.
For 90 minutes I cried and yelled.
For 90 minutes I shadow boxed with God.

Finally, drained of all fight I returned home.  Better.  But with many more questions.  Before I did not know what was gnawing on my soul.  In the walk, it was named.  But now I needed to know what direction to go next.  

I had spent over an hour revisiting old wounds.  Asking God why He hasn't answered my many of my prayers?  And why my dreams aren't good enough to be?  And if He is strong and able why won't He give me a miracle?  Lots of big questions attached to a very deep gaping wound.

At the end I recognized that I was at the end of my rope.  I was done with this mess.  I didn't want healing I only wanted my way.  Desperately wanting my will.  So much so that during our conversation I saw that my heart was willing to break boundaries God had given me years ago.  I was at the end of my rope.  Hopeless.  Hurt.  Isolated from God.

And then He, as He frequently and graciously does, pointed me to His Word.  Sarah was my example this time.  Sarah's story is found in the early part of Genesis.  As I reread her story I was struck by how long she had to wait until God chose to fulfill His promise and how much damage she did by her choice to step ahead of God.

Sarah was 77 when she lost patience and chose to bypass God.  77 years of waiting and praying and trying and hoping.  I just can not even imagine how she made it so long.   But finally, after 77 years she decided that she couldn't wait any more.  Actually, she decided to take matters into her own hand by making a choice that, from the outside, appeared normal to her community.  In the land she lived in, it was not wrong for a man to have several wives.  Although her idea of having her husband marry her servant may have looked typical to an outsider, I believe Sarah must have known that she was stepping ahead of God  Her choice to escape pain and relieve impatience cost her.  BIG.TIME.  

As soon as her servant was elevated to a wife, Sarah's impatience turned quickly to bitterness and resentment.  Her plan failed.  Miserably. And now there were lives of others wrapped up in this mess. From the servant came a son that would forever be against Sarah's son.  FOREVER.  Strife, bloodshed, arguments, and war.  Always against each other.  Never peace.

Sarah! Part of me is astounded that she was able to hold out for so long.  And yet I am irritated that she could not have waited any longer. And then I look at myself.  Nearly 5 years of infertility and I find my heart impatient.  Like Sarah I find that I want to force open these closed doors.  And then the LORD ever so gently reminds me that there are consequences.  The last thing I want are consequences like that!!

So what am I left with?  Today I have the words "Faithful" and "Wait".  They are sitting with me in this tender stormy season.  I don't like them, but they are what I have been given.  Wait for Him, don't rush ahead like Sarah.  And know that He is faithful to you just like He was faithful to her.  Same God.  Same abilities.   

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