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The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” – Genesis 21:1-7
Maybe it’s a prayer for a wayward child. It could be you’ve asked God for a mate. You might have prayed for a new job. Or a better boss. Or financial relief. Or healing. God’s answer is not always, “Yes.” Sometimes he says, “No.” The time isn’t right. The request isn’t right. You are not right with him or someone else. He says, “No.” Not because he does not love you. But because he does.
Sometimes God says, “Grow.” The time may be right. The request might not be wrong for a more mature person. Or it may spring from an immature heart. It might be a selfish request. It could be something you cannot handle at this time. God, in effect, says, “Grow up. Become more mature.” Not, “Yes.” Not, “No.” Just, “Grow a little before I give you this.” He might also say, “Slow down. Not so fast. Wait a while.” Maybe the world isn’t ready for what you’ve asked for.
But sometimes God comes through. Although the language seems dangerous. It’s not like God ever is not able to do whatever needs to be done. It’s not like if he doesn’t act we have no hope. It’s just that from our perspective, God comes through. He shows up. Or better yet, we see his answer, and it aligns with his promise or our request.
You get the job. You meet the special one. The boss has a change of heart. A check arrives in the mail. The disease is cured. God comes through.
This is what happens here in these few verses. God comes through for Abraham and Sarah. Isaac is born. It is a joyful time. God be praised. This is something to be celebrated. God is to be credited. We give him the glory.
But much of this Abraham and Sarah narrative is not about the delivery of the promised child. It is about the struggles, foibles, and setbacks that come along the way. Life is not a series of yay God days, one after the other for most people. We can easily identify with Abraham and Sarah in their times of testing, waiting, struggling, questioning, and nearly giving up hope. The Bible is clear about that.
The biblical record is also clear about God’s good will and trustworthy nature in those times of waiting. God will make good on the good things he has promised.
What promise are you waiting for? Trust, wait, and hope in God. What promise have you seen realized in your life? Give him the glory, keep the memory of that in your heart, and let it be known that God came through for you.