Scripture: Genesis 18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3 He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”…9 They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?..
Observation: It’s clear from the scriptures that Abraham was a man of some means. He had large holdings of livestock and many servants. However, as successful as he may have been in terms of possessions, he lacked one thing. An heir. To die wealthy, but with no heir, would have been considered a great curse. No doubt Abraham and Sarah had long ago lost hope of having a child to carry on the family name. But God intervened, for nothing is impossible for God.
Application: Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you hope it will. I moved around a lot as a kid, attending five high schools in four years. I always told myself, once I was on my own, I would find a place to live and stay put. No more moving around for me! But, of course, that’s not what’s happened. Life intervened and my wife Jana and I have moved many times in our 27 years of marriage.
Since my parents were divorced when I was very young, I spent my childhood living far away from my biological father. I always told myself I’d stay close to my kids if I could help it. Well guess what? Our son Nick just returned to North Carolina where he’s soon starting his senior year of college – over 1,000 miles away from our home in suburban Dallas. True, technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch, but I can’t hug my son via the Internet. I wish he were closer, but it is what it is.
I’m guessing that, like me, there are parts of your life that have turned out different than you’d hoped or expected. It can be really disappointing. But today’s story can give us hope. Nothing is impossible for God. And God can yet intervene, even late in life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we understand that life often works out differently than we hope or expect. Frankly, it can be hard to take. Give us grace to trust that, even when things don’t work out the way we hope, things will work out – so long as we have faith in you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.