When God Can’t Be Trusted
Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16:2
When I first met my wife, it was love at first sight . . . for me. She did not feel the same way. I was convinced that she was my future wife, but her lack of interest did confound me a little. I hesitate to write this next part, but I simply had this God-granted assurance that she and I would one day marry. Don’t ask me how. I just knew it more than anything I’d never known. After a couple years of waiting for romance to blossom though – with her showing zero interest – I began to have my doubts that God was working out his plan. So, I took matters into my own hands. We lived hundreds of miles apart, so twice I tried to speed things up, traveling to see her to push our friendship to the next level. This never went well and I always walked away frustrated, eventually giving up. Finally, seven years after we first met, and after seven long years of chasing and waiting, we eventually got together. We later married and the plan I always believed in came true . . . just not in the timing that I expected.
If you know my writing, you know that I write constantly about following my way or God’s way. When I follow me, I find disaster. When I follow God, I find life. Still, when God’s plan doesn’t unfold as I think it should, I often attempt to resume control, taking matters into my own hands.
This is the story of today’s passage. In it, God promised Abram that his descendants would be as countless as the stars, inheriting the promised land, yet he was in his 80s and had no children. So, his wife Sarai took matters into her own hands, convincing Abram to impregnate her servant so that they may have children. Abram did so, and it didn’t go well, as jealous conflict erupted between Sarai and her servant. This wasn’t God’s plan.
Often, we say we believe in God, though we’re not entirely sure he can be trusted to work life out according to our plans. We’re right about one thing – God can’t be trusted to follow our plan. God follows his own plan. Faith means accepting that his plan is infinitely superior to ours and then submitting ourselves to his will. We get impatient, believing we know best, but God knows all and truly has our best interests in mind, even when we can’t see it. When we take matters into our own hands, we tell God he can’t be trusted and when we go our own way, we court misery and disaster.