TODAY'S FOCUS: Genesis17:15-16
God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, you will no longer call her Sarai. Her name will now be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and even give you a son from her. I will bless her so that she will become nations, and kings of peoples will come from her.” (Common English Bible)
I wonder how many times God has repeated words spoken to me. Have I often been too busy with my own plan or even too busy talking to listen to what God has to say the first time? Have I met God’s call with laughter or even a suggestion as to how God might rearrange things in a way I think is better?
Abraham has just experienced his own life-changing, name-changing, game-changing episode, and yet he questions God’s power to make a change in his wife. “Sarai will have a child? Don’t make me laugh. She’s too old for such nonsense. Besides, I already have a son. Just use that one for this great idea of yours. I’m happy to be obedient as long as I understand the plan, and this one just doesn’t make good sense.”
And so begins God’s repeating. “Yes, Abraham. I will use Ishmael, the son you have, but that’s not the plan I’m talking about. I’m talking about the son you will have with Sarai. Yes, Sarai. That’s been the plan all along. I will bless Ishmael, but Sarai’s son Isaac – he’s the one I will covenant with. I will make my covenant with Isaac and all of Isaac’s family from now on. And while we are at it, her name is now Sarah. It means princess. This royal family of mine will come from a Princess.”
A little bit of Abraham may be found in each of us. We may possess a slight trait of stubbornness that pushes us to laughter when we don’t understand the plan. While I speculate how much I miss when I don’t listen to my Lord the first time, I am thrilled to know that my inflexibility loses all power when lined up against God’s faithfulness, patience, and willingness to repeat. With that captivating reiteration, Abraham was compelled (even propelled) to act in obedience that very day. I wonder what God has in store for me and how quickly I will respond once I make it my practice to listen the first time!
Patient and faithful God, when I am stubborn enough to miss your direction, and I question your call because of my own limitations, remind me over and over again that your plan makes perfect sense. With your help, I am willing to change my heart, my actions and even my name. Amen.