I am honored to introduce to you my good friend, Julie George. Our paths crossed many, many years ago. We do not live in the same state or talk with each other on a daily basis, but in spite of that God has allowed us to remain connected. We truly enjoy the occasions in which we do get to connect face-to-face. Julie is joining me over the next few days as the guest writer in my series Amazing Grace.
Julie served as a graduate instructor and assistant director of the ESL program for Bowling Green State University prior to joining Global Connections in 2004 as the director. Julie has such a heart for outreach and has been able to introduce many to Christ. Through discipleship, she has also come alongside many on their faith journey. You can connect with Julie here at Global Connections.
Here’s Julie on Grace While You Wait…
Are you waiting for something that seems so impossible? Or are you waiting for someone who seemingly doesn’t exist? Yet deep within your heart is this heart-felt desire, a desire that has been placed there by God as you grow in intimacy with Him. Maybe God has given you a vision for ministry, for a job, for a husband or a wife, for children, for the restoration of a friendship or a marriage. We’re excited about this vision and about the future, so we wait for God to do something to make it happen.
And we wait and wait . . .
That’s exactly what happened to Abraham and Sarah. Several times, God had given them a vision, a promise for a son (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:4, 18:10). So they waited expectantly. “Surely God is going to make this happen soon,” they probably thought. “After all, we’re getting up there in age.” But nothing happened.
“Ok—this must be the day our son is going to be conceived.” Nothing.
“Didn’t happen this month; surely next month it’s got to happen.” Nothing.
“This has to be the year!”
But every day and every year passed, and still no son. They waited and waited and waited while they got older and older and older. Nothing happened. And just like what happens to us during times of waiting—especially prolonged waiting—the doubts and accusations began to creep in.
Even though he initially believed God when He showed him the stars, maybe Abraham really heard it wrong (Genesis 15:1-7). Or had they done something wrong to offend God—like the time Abraham and Sarah lied by saying they were brother and sister in Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20)? If God’s acceptance was based on their performance, maybe they weren’t worthy after all.
Or maybe God expected them to do something to help Him achieve this vision. “Ahh . . . that’s it,” maybe they thought. “God must be wanting us to lend Him a hand.”
And so Sarah gave her servant Hagar to Abraham, and they conceived a son—Ishmael (Genesis 16). But Ishmael wasn’t God’s son of promise to Abraham and Sarah. Their well-intentioned but self-initiated plan to help God accomplish His vision for them backfired. So they waited and waited some more until FINALLY—the day came when Isaac was conceived. Finally! And there was laughter and rejoicing and celebration.
And God celebrated too! FINALLY, Abraham and Sarah were truly trusting Him—that in His time and in His way He would fulfill the vision that He had given them.
To be continued…
Questions for reflection…
Has God promised you something that has not happened yet?
Are you patiently or anxiously waiting?