The story of Sarai and Hagar has always disturbed me. I would much rather think of my namesake as being a virtuous woman, the mother of the people from whom God would bring the promised Messiah. But in Genesis 16, she gets impatient.
How often am I impatient? Lately, quite often. It seems that the more patience is needed, the thinner mine spreads, until I can’t even see it anymore. Like Sarai, I want things to happen now, rather than wait for it. Rather than wait for God’s timing.
Sarai wants a child. God has promised her husband that they will have as many descendants as stars in the sky. But is she content to sit by and wait while He arranges everything? Nope. She wants results now. She gets the brilliant idea of having her husband take her maidservent as a wife, that she may have a child through her.
The problem, though, is that it didn’t work out the way she wanted it to. Hagar conceives a child with Abram and begins to look down her nose at Sarai. She no longer respects Sarai. And Sarai repays that sin with sin of her own. She deals with Hagar unkindly. Hagar then runs away.
Sin leads to sin and sin and more sin. What a mess Sarai made for herself!
But our gracious Lord did not leave them in this mess. He finds Hagar in the wilderness. He blesses her and sends her back to Sarai, telling her to submit to her mistress. Hagar obeys.
Do I really submit myself to God’s will? I have been considering this lately. Am I content with not having what I want when I want it? What if what God has planned for me isn’t what I want? What then?
God’s Word, as I study, has assured me that it will be just fine. When I release my will, He bends it to meet His. He met Hagar where she was and guided her back to His will. Even though Sarai was impatient, He didn’t give up on her. He still blessed her with Isaac.
Even when I begin to be impatient with waiting for God’s timing, He draws me back to where He wants me, with the place that He has work for me still to do. He gently guides me to submit to His will.
Lord, show me Your will. Bend mine to fit inside of it. Give me patience to wait for Your timing. Thank You for the many times that You guide me back when I stray. Thank You most of all for making me one of your children and saving me from the power of sin and death. Help me to live in service to you and others. Amen.