How good are you at letting go and letting God handle the circumstances in your life? Do you trust God that He’ll handle them? Are you willing to wait on His timing? If we’re being honest with ourselves, we will admit that we often fall short in this area. Trusting God’s promises when we don’t see any results is difficult. We want to take things into our own hands, get things done. We live in an instant gratification society. We have so much information and advice at our fingertips that waiting has become an unfamiliar concept for many.
I’ll confess I’m not very good at waiting. I want to fix things as soon as possible. That’s my way of taking care of those I love. It is hard to watch others go through difficult times and not want to help somehow. But relying on our own strength and wisdom, instead of having faith in God’s timing, often makes matters worse rather than better.
The story of Abram and Sarai in Genesis chapter 16 shows us how taking things into your own hands worked out for them. God had promised Abram that he and Sarai would have a son, that Abram would be the father of many nations that would be blessed through him. But Abram and Sarai were growing old and Sarai was childless. It was a source of shame to a woman in their day to be barren, and so it was not uncommon for a wife to give her servant to her husband to produce an heir. Sarai thought she would help God put His plan into action.
But Sarai’s running ahead of God’s plan, and Abram agreeing to go along with it, created a difficult situation. When the plan didn’t work out as Sarai had hoped, she blamed Abram who, instead of owning up to their sin of unbelief, walked away from the whole mess, allowing Sarai to again take matters into her own hands. God would later bless Hagar’s son Ishmael’s descendants with the promise to make them into a great nation, but this nation would remain an enemy of God’s people Israel. They would be a constant reminder of Sarai and Abram’s lack of faith in God’s plan and perfect timing.
How often do we find ourselves running ahead of God’s plans for us? And how often do we then blame others when our actions produce disastrous results? Hebrews 6:12b says “… but (be) imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. Faith and patience always go together. In fact, faith produces patience. (James 1:3) When we walk by sight and not by faith, we lose confidence in God’s ability to fulfill His promises. But our God is a faithful God. And we can have faith that what God promises, He will fulfill.