In church on Sunday, our pastor gave us a message that really made me think. He was teaching about the story of Abraham and Sarah. If you’re not familiar with the story, God promised Abraham that he would grow through him a great nation- a nation that would begin with a son. He was 86 at the time of God’s initial promise to him, but he believed that God would grant him a child. However, after 11 years passed, he and his wife, Sarah, grew wary of the wait. Instead of keeping their faith, Sarah suggested that Abraham impregnate her servant, Hagar, and carry on his line through her. So he did, and she bore him a son named Ishmael. However, when Abraham turned 100, God granted him the son he had promised him- in His perfect timing, Isaac (which means laughter… because wouldn’t you laugh if you had a baby at 100?) was born.
The message our pastor gave was urging us to wait for our Isaac and not to try replacing him with an Ishmael. God’s timing is perfect, even if it is not our own. “Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (Genesis 21:2). Have you ever wondered what was taking God so long? Whether in your love life, your desire to have a child, your career, your social life, whatever. Have you ever prayed for something so hard and just couldn’t wrap your mind around God’s timing? Why wasn’t he listening? Why weren’t you important enough to answer? Well guess what? He doesn’t always answer us in the way (or the time) we would choose, but he ALWAYS answers us. Trying to replace our true purpose with a stand-in will not fulfill us. We have to have faith that God will be there for us and will work to make His will known in our lives.
Personally, I’ve been struggling with my purpose. I have no idea what it is I’m supposed to “do,” but I know that I want to do something from a ministry standpoint. I’ve prayed and prayed about it, but I feel like I keep circling around to no avail. I have no clue. Trying to force myself into different roles won’t (and is not going to) work- I’m just going to have to wait for Him to reveal His plan to me in His time. Because for whatever reason, God wants me to wait right now. Waiting is hard. I’m not good at waiting. I think he knows that and makes me wait for longer just because He knows I hate it. I don’t think He does that to be mean- I think He does it to help me grow as a person. Sometimes the best part of the lesson is in the wait.
Some of my biggest mistakes have been made by trying to force the timing of something. If I can’t figure out what I’m “meant” to do, I will try my darnedest to replace my purpose with a “just for now” or similar substitution. I’ve learned, however, over the past 26 years or so of doing this, that rushing things won’t work. The good things in life are worth waiting for, even if waiting makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes. So, here I sit, waiting, but I am striving to serve Him in the meantime and make this wait purposeful. So… what are you waiting for?