Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hoping Against Hope

I really enjoyed this chapter about Sarah! I feel like I learned so much about her. For instance, I have always thought that Sarah’s laughter was extreme doubt in God’s ability to allow her to become pregnant at such an old age. And I wouldn’t blame her! But as John points out, we know that Abraham’s laughter could not have been out of doubt, because Romans 4 so clearly tells us that he was not weak at all in his faith even with their old age—yet he also laughed when he heard the news! So why would Sarah’s laughter be any different? I’ll be honest though, it took me some serious thinking about this to be convinced that she wasn’t doubting, just because that is what I have always believed. But the truth is she was just so excited and overjoyed that God was finally giving her a child! I would laugh too!

As much as I enjoyed hearing about Sarah’s faith and submission, and I was really challenged and encouraged by that, I think I was most challenged from the beginning of the chapter where John talks about Sarah’s struggle with wanting children. John says, “From the time she became Abraham’s wife, Sarah desired one thing above all others, and that was to have children.” She actually perverted this pure, God given desire to have children, when she succumbed to that immoral, unrighteous, and foolish scheme to give Abraham a child through her maidservant. I sometimes fear that I will not be able to have children of my own. It is so common these days for women and men to have various problems that prevent them from being able to conceive. John said of Sarah, “She desperately wanted to be a mother, but she finally concluded that God Himself was restraining her from having children.” I too desperately want to be a mother, but what if God Himself restrains me from having children? Will I respond like Sarah by making this desire my idol and falling into self-pity and foolish schemes? Or will I cling to God and trust Him and know that there is nothing better in this world than knowing my Savior on a personal level and having an intimate relationship with Him? I have Christ; there is nothing better than this! So my prayer is that whether the Lord allows me to give birth to a child or not, whether He keeps me surrounded by loved ones or takes them away, whatever He has for my life, I would delight in Him more than anything else and find my joy truly in Him!

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