The way the daily lectionary readings work is that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lessons reflect on the Scriptures for Sunday; and, the readings for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday anticipate the Scriptures for the upcoming Sunday. So, in today’s Old Testament lesson, we get some further rumination on the theme from this past Sunday on listening to the voice of the Lord.
God had told Abram that he would give him and his wife Sarai a son. But years had passed and the promise had still not materialized. Thus, in contrast to hearing and internalizing God’s voice, the text says that “Abram listened to the voice of Sarai” to have a child through her servant, Hagar. In his impatience and discouragement, Abram thought that maybe he had to use some ingenuity and think up a plan in order to see God’s promise realized.
But this was not God’s intention. All along the Lord had promised to give Abram and Sarai a son, the two of them, despite their advanced age and Sarai’s barren womb. It did not seem very probable, especially when times passes and nothing seems to be happening. We might understand why Abram and Sarai went with their own plan, thinking that it might be God’s means of fulfilling his plan. Yet, it was neither sage nor right.
I wonder if you, like me, expect immediate results to the promise that Christ will build his Church? Perhaps you, like me, grow weary waiting for God’s promises and his Word to be fulfilled. Sticking with basic spiritual disciplines such as silence and solitude so that we can listen well to God is a wise plan; going off the spiritual reservation to look for answers to problems or dilemmas because we are not sure if God is going to show up to help is a foolish plan. We must trust God in what he says, and live our lives consistent with what he has told us he will do.
O God, I admit that I am growing weary waiting for you to work! Forgive me for my impatience, and strengthen me in my faith so that I will fully trust your revealed promises in Jesus Christ. Amen.