So she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” (Gen. 16:2)
I have prayed for the salvation of a certain friend for decades. He claims that he is an agnostic. He is very anti-Christian due to his having been emotionally hurt by pastors and Christian relatives, including me. I used to pray for his salvation daily. Eventually, I gave up.
Sarai had been waiting a long time to have children. Eventually, she just gave up. Instead of continuing to wait on the Lord’s timing, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Fourteen years later, God blessed her with a son of her own. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” but would you really want to wait fourteen years to have the desires of your heart filled? We cannot see the whole picture. God had a reason to wait. We do not know why, but that is the point. We must trust him with the timing.
I don’t know what prayer you may have prayed again and again. The continued answer of “not yet” may be absolutely heartbreaking for you. But we are told in both Genesis 15 and Romans 4 that Abram trusted God, and that doing so was credited to him as righteousness. Let us also trust in God’s wisdom regarding how to answer our prayers, so that it may also be credited to us as righteousness.
Do not give up; trust in the Lord’s timing.
Aaron Wilkinson is a member of College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, and works at Wesley Seminary. His favorite word is eucatastrophe.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.