The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:1-15)
But just as God promised…
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7)
I cannot help but wonder what Sarah must have been thinking when she heard the three visitors (One of which Abraham calls Lord!) say she would have a child. She was an old woman, passed child-bearing age. God had made this promise to Abraham before, though. Yet, it only seemed more impossible this time. Sarah was older now- Ishmael was already born because Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands and decided they could “help” God bring about the heir promised to Abraham, since Sarah was obviously too old to have children. Hagar, Sarah’s servant became the mother of Ishmael, by Abraham- and yet…God, in His grace still chose to use Abraham and Sarah to bring forth the promised child, through which all nations of the earth would be blessed! Through this line Jesus Himself came.
Hebrews 11 says this about Sarah:
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep His promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead-a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. (Hebrews 11:11-12)
So apparently, although she may have laughed upon first hearing this word that was completely impossible, she soon began believing that God was well able to keep His promise no matter how impossible it seemed in human strength.
Today I want to ask you what I’m asking myself.
Is there ever fault in taking God at His word? Do we ever fault in standing in faith when we’ve done the very best we know how to obey what we believe to be His will? If we have sincerely sought out the heart and will of God and with open hands and hearts have pursued His purposes above our own…is it foolish to stand on what we believe when circumstances are completely impossible?
Let me tell you what the Word of God says over and over and over again…
Those who trust in Me will never be put to shame. (Isaiah 49:23b)
Over and over again we see, according to the Word of God, that it is impossible to please the Lord without faith (Hebrews 11:6). That one thing that moves the heart of God is when His people stop caring about the impossibilities that they see and start believing Him above every hurdle. Taking Him at His word. Obeying when He leads. Fighting the good fight of faith, no matter how impossible it seems.
Whose back does it fall on when God’s people do all they know to do to follow and obey, and then they face an impossible situation on that path? Do God’s people then have to hold up the weight of this burden, if their hearts have sincerely sought His plans above their own?
Let me tell you something- no. No they do not. The Living God does not need us to cover His back. In fact, He’s big enough to do all that He says He will do. He’s big enough to cause an old woman and an old man to have a baby even when they are far beyond child-bearing age. He’s big enough to cause a virgin to bring forth the Savior of mankind. He’s big enough to do anything at all that He wants to do.
And let me tell you something else. As God’s people, we are never, ever at fault for believing God above impossibilities. Ever. Who cares if the world finds it foolish? I don’t know about you, but I would far rather know that I spent my life believing God to the finish above the odds than cowering at any and every opposition. Because I believe far more often than not, God is just looking for someone willing to take Him at His word.
So please tell me again how impossible my situation is. Please tell me again how there’s no way anything can be turned around now, and the two kids who we have been praying for for nearly a year will not be coming home to our family. Because those words create more of an atmosphere that is ideal for deliverance. My God sees me. He sees. He hears. And He can work any deliverance He desires to work- however He desires to work it.
We will continue to pray for His perfect will to unfold. We are commanded by God over and over again to stand in faith, believe Him and His Word by faith, and to trust His deliverance above the strength of men or their words or their verdicts. So I personally feel like it would be sin to do anything other than that knowing what I know, and having seen what I’ve seen.
We have surrendered ourselves to the great Potter- and we trust Him to do whatever He wants, however He wants to do it.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. It gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)