“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And 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 16:1–2, ESV)
And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Sometimes the choices we make, in retrospect, make absolutely no sense. Have you been there? I know I have. What were we thinking? Were we thinking?
Every time I reread this story I say the same things. What were they thinking? Were they thinking? How does this make sense on any level? Does the desire to have a child, a son, override the sacredness of the marriage bed? The answer to that question will define one’s quality of life for the remainder of our years.
Here, with an insurmountable problem before Him was a God who had just promised Abraham, “And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:4–6, ESV)
How do you resolve situations where obstacles seem to have stopped and derailed your forward progress? Do we pray, fast, cry out to God and enlist the prayers of others for God’s supernatural intervention? Or do we imitate the ways of the world and seek natural, unbiblical ways to bring about the result we desire?
How we step forward when our paths are blocked reveals the destination we will eventually arrive at. Shortcuts and sin-cuts will only lead us to a less-than-desired future filled with regret and pain.
As Abraham and Sarah will tell you now, on this side of their horrible solution, lots of bad came from this arrangement. Animosity, that corrosive emotion that undermines everything between two people ate away the joy of union and replaced it with the loathing of seeing each other. Today, though the way is hard, choose the Path of Life. God will honor it in time if we trust Him.
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.