S94P3 – Dark seasons of the soul: doubt

Gen. 16:1-2

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

He knew he served the God of provision, the one who would not let him go hungry.  Yet, there he was experiencing a hunger like never before.  It had been days since food touched his lips, and his reputation as a Christian in that village won him no friends among his neighbors.  On the second night of his hunger he dreamt of a banquet fit for a king, and he was seated at the head of the table.  He prayed for God to provide and waited, but no sustenance came.  After three days, he decided to end his waiting by stealing what God would not provide.  He never would become aware of the sister who came to his house to bring him food while he was spending the night in a jail cell. 

Abram had received a promise from God that he would have many descendants.  Immediately after the passage of that conversation with the Lord, we see him and his wife Sarai decide their own plan to bring forth his heirs.  The promise had been clear as day.  There was no dream to interpret or prophecy to parse out.  Scripture even tells us that Abram believed God when he was told that his offspring would outnumber the stars in the sky.  Yet, that belief somehow went out the window once he left the Lord’s presence.  Doubt showed up in both Abram and Sarai over time, and it caused them to hatch a plan with consequences which were the complete antithesis of what they were trying to accomplish.  

God promised a man heirs under seemingly impossible circumstances, so he went and tried to create those heirs his own way.  What he was left with was a wild son who one day would be banished from his life and his family.  God’s plan promised fruitfulness and family; the man’s plan brought conflict and separation.  God wants us to hold on to our belief when everything tells us that He just will not or cannot come through for us.  We might know impossibility, but He does not.  Our faith must be the evidence of the things we do not yet see.  Father, give us faith against all odds to hold fast to your promises and wait for your plan to unfold no matter what we see.