Sunday, March 17, 2013

Faith By Hearing: The Promise

Last week at Bible study, we had a great discussion about Sarah (or in some versions Sarai).  For people unfamiliar with the Bible, Sarah was the wife of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people.  Her case was quite special.  God repeatedly promised Abraham that he would be the father of generations; that his offspring would outnumber the stars.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  One problem:  Sarah was barren.  She entered her old age without children.  So much for being the "father of generations," huh?  Just when Sarah and Abraham had pretty much given up, God tells Sarah that she will in fact conceive.  And sure enough, when Abraham is about 100 years old, Sarah gives birth to their son, Issac.  

I've always loved that story.   During Wednesday Bible study, we talked about God's promise to Abraham, having faith, how it's very difficult to trust that God will take care of you and carry out what He has promised to you, even when all the evidence on Earth proves otherwise.  And we also talked about what a privilege it is to in our hard times to just be able to let go, and let God do what he's best at-- making the impossible possible.  

I can relate my current situation with Sarah's story.  Sarah waited FOREVER for that child God had promised to her.  And it looks like I might be in for my own long journey to kidney transplantation. Sarah was probably the first woman to have those feelings of doubt and worry, waiting for something, not knowing if it will ever, ever come.  I definitely know what that's like.  But there is hope in Sarah's story, and so many others' throughout the Bible.  The birth of Issac teaches us that we shouldn't spend so much time worrying or doubting what God can do in our livesHer story teaches us that he hasn't abandoned us that He will always come through for us in any situation to give us what we need.  

As part of the study we had to read a few verses and tell which one we could really relate to.  The one I picked was Philippians 4:19:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

This was one of the verses I read after receiving the news about my sister, and her inability to donate.  I was so angry and frustrated, partly with God, for not giving me what I needed when I wanted it.  But this verse reminded me that in this life, everything works according to God's plan, not mine.  And I kid you not, after reading this verse, God gave me something that is probably so much better than any one else's kidney.  He gave me peace.  And just like that I was filled with this overwhelming belief that everything is going to be OK.  I'll get my kidney, just like Sarah got her baby, when the time is right.