Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:4-5 NIV)
So, she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So, after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. (Genesis 16:2-4)
Have you ever believed God for a miracle? Did you hold onto a word from scriptures or receive a revelation and confirmation that He was going to do that thing you were believing Him for?
How long did it take for your miracle to become reality, a month, a year, a decade? During the waiting period, were you ever tempted to try to make the miracle happen quicker?
Waiting is tough, and if you’ve been a Christian long enough, you may have experienced a delay in answers to your prayers. Whether your miracle is for a child, a spouse, healing, or a business prospect, waiting on God to come through as He promised, is easier said than done. Like many of us today, Abram and Sarai had been waiting for the manifestation of God’s promise- a son.
Ten years had gone by since the promise was given, and Sarai’s faith had waned. She encouraged Abram to take her maid as a wife and have her bear a son on her behalf.
She must have convinced herself that this was the only way the miracle could happen. Abram’s approval of this plan suggests that he too had given up on God’s promise to give him a son through Sarai.
So, together, they tried to help God bring about the miracle. Sarai’s maid Hagar got pregnant as they had hoped, but that was the beginning of many troubles to come.
It’s No Longer a Miracle When You Do it Yourself
When God told Abram, he would have a child, He knew Abram and Sarai were passed the age of child bearing, but this is where the miracle was.
A miracle is defined as a surprising and welcome event that is not explainable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
Hagar having a child wasn’t a miracle. She was of child bearing age and her getting pregnant for Abram (and Sarai) was a natural event. There was nothing supernatural about it; nothing there to point people to God.
When you cheat to pass that exam, sleep with a boss to get a promotion, or lower our values to get ahead, God cannot be credited with those successes or victories. They are done by your efforts and not the supernatural efforts or intervention of God.
There Are Consequences When You Do it Your Way
It did not take long for Abram and Sarai to realize they had made a big mistake trying to play God, for as soon as Hagar, Sarai’s maid found out that she was with child, she began to despise her mistress (Genesis 15:4).
This resulted in a family crisis that would last long after the promise son Isaac was born. When God makes us wait, He knows better, when He asks us to do something a certain way, it is because He knows better.
Seeing and experiencing the results of our disobedience humbles us and reminds us that God alone is God and we are not. He will not share His glory with anyone, not even with Abram (later called Abraham) who is known as a friend of God.
God is concerned about His honor. When we choose to do it our way, we strip Him of the honor due His name especially in the presence of those watching to see what He will do in our lives.
When the Waiting Period Becomes too Long
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).
So, what can we do when it seems God is slow in answering us? the Psalm above says it all-WAIT. Although we may want to be active, may want to try to hasten God (no one can do that), the only thing we can do is wait for His timing.
Indeed, He knows what time is best to bring about our miracle. Abram and Sarai still had to wait 13 more years before the promised son Isaac showed up. Who knows, if they had not tried to do it their own way, they may not have had to wait that long for Isaac.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
God has promised to renew our strength while we wait for Him to come through in our situation. He has promised also that though it tarries, it will surely come (Habakkuk 2:3).
If we truly believe in His ability to do the miraculous, let us wait on Him, giving thanks for His intervention for He is a faithful God, one we can rely on!