“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17)
What strikes me most this morning as I read the Abraham narrative, the covenants God makes with him, is the length of time that passes between the promise and its fulfillment. Abraham first encounters God when he is in his 70’s. God not only promises him land but also offspring. Again, in chapter 15, Abraham receives a promise from God regarding offspring. Abraham is in his mid 80’s at this point. Still Abraham and Sarah remain childless. God’s promise doesn’t come to fruition and Abraham has a child through Sarah’s servant, Hagar. But Hagar’s son is not the son of promise. God makes that clear when He visits them again. Once again He promises to provide them with child. Both Abraham and Sarah are in their late nineties at this point. Abraham is pushing one hundred and Sarah is just a year behind. It is amazing but God’s promise comes to fruition. Abraham and Sarah have a child together. Isaac is born!
God held true to His promise, but it didn’t happen over night. It took thirty some odd years for Abraham to finally have a child and get his family started with Sarah. The family God promised would be a blessing to the nations.
The time between God’s initial promise and His fulfillment took decades. Decades that I am sure seemed like an eternity. Decades that led them to disbelieve God, so much so Sarah offered Hagar to Abraham so that he might have a child. Decades that made Sarah laugh when God visited them at the oaks of Mamre as they looked out over Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). Decades that eventually came to culmination with the birth of Isaac.
God’s timing is not our timing. Days, months, years and even decades can go by without an answer to prayer. What appears to never happen is right on time according to the Lord. His plan is perfect. He perfects us through His plan. We must trust the Lord knows best and His timing is right.
Continue to trust in the Lord even in the midst of the wait. It can be difficult, but the Lord has a plan!