The Women’s Fellowship was very good. We praised God with singing and dancing. We prayed and prophesied. We shared testimonies about the goodness of God. There was an altar call for prayer for the married women who pray to have children. The God of Abraham and Sarah will give you the desire of your hearts! Then the word of God came: THE NEED TO BE PATIENT

Genesis 16 is a painful chapter to read. We see Abraham and Sarah making mistakes. We see the consequences of their mistakes. We see the suffering of the maid Hagar and we cannot but sympathize with her pains. This is the basic story: God promised Abraham that he will be the father of many descendants. Many years have passed since that promise was made and Sarah was still unable to conceive a baby. Tired of waiting on God, Sarai becomes impatient and tells Abraham ‘to sleep’ with her Egyptian maid Hagar. According to the tradition at that time, the slave’s child will be hers. Abraham did not argue with her proposal. He slept with Hagar and she became pregnant immediately. Once pregnant, Hagar ‘despised’ her mistress. Her proud attitude brought major crisis in the home.

Sarah ‘dealt harshly’ with Hagar who runs away thru the desert, towards Egypt, her home. She stops at a place called Shur, about 150 miles away from the home of Abraham. The Angel of the Lord (who many believe is the Lord Jesus Christ) encounters her by a well, comforts her; shows her grace and mercy. This story reminds us of another Gentile woman who met the Lord Jesus Christ by the well (John 4). Does Jesus care for the oppressed, the slaves and sinners? The answer is yes! He cares! Oh, the ways of the Lord are so different than our ways. The Angel tells her to go back home to her mistress Sarah. She obeys! Pregnant, she treks back another 150 miles. Selah! That must have been difficult. It was not easy to go back to her slavery and submit to Sarah. But this time she had hope from God. She eventually has a son called ‘Ishmael’, meaning ‘God who hears me’.

Abraham and Sarah’s manipulation of God’s plan for their lives displeased God. For the next 13 years, God keeps silent. Abraham is 99 years old when Jehovah El Shaddai speaks again. He calls Abraham to a life of holiness and total surrender (Genesis 17). Abram’s name is changed from Abram to Abraham. Sarai’s name is also changed. Sarai means ‘Princess’. But now, as Sarah, she becomes ‘a royal princess’, God’s Princess! This is true blessed promotion in life (Gen 17:15, 16)

What are some of the lessons for us? The most important lesson is that we need faith and patience to inherit the promises of God (Heb 6:12). Many believers pray for greater faith. Few pray to be more patient. Faith matures thru testing. One of the most difficult tests to pass is the test of time. We need to learn to endure joyfully the trials of faith. This endurance is called patience or perseverance. God is patient and faithful. He desires that we should be like Him. Patience builds character and hope. It is only the patient believer who is ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to experience the comforting Love of God. Patience eliminates every disappointment in life (Rom 5:1-5). An impatient man or woman conceives trouble, will experience much pain and shame. Insisting to receive a blessing before God’s time will surely bring sorrow. It is not easy to wait on God. But waiting for God’s time is the best protection against disappointment. The waiting time connects the promise to the performance. It is hard to be patient. But it is the best way! Never use worldly means to accomplish God’s work. Wait upon the Lord! Impatience is sin! Repent! Go to the Cross. You have hurt yourself and many people close to you. As you walk by faith, in case of delays, pray for wisdom to understand the mind of God. Even as you trust God for a better future, be grateful for what you have right now, at this present moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow! Before the breakthrough comes, do the little good work you can today. Learn to slow down. Enjoy a quieter life. Take time to smell the roses… Continue to pray. Do not give up on prayer. Often, delay is not denial. Serve God the best way you can. Worship God and give Him thanks no matter what! Sooner or later, the testimony shall come! Amen!

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