The waiting game – Hope 103.2

The waiting game

By David ReayTuesday 17 Jan 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Genesis 18:10-15

10 Then the LORD 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.” (NIV)

There is laughter and there is laughter. There is the laughter of sheer delight, the laughter in response to something funny happening in front of your eyes. And there is Sarah’s laughter. Sarah wasn’t laughing at anything funny. She couldn’t see anything funny in someone tantalising her with promises of children at her age. Sarah wasn’t laughing at a joke because the words of those mysterious strangers beyond the tent flap were if anything a very sick joke. That promise of children decades ago had turned sour and made her laughter correspondingly sour.

Waiting for a promise to come true is a hard sort of waiting. How long do we wait? Did we hear the promise correctly in the first place? Is it all wishful thinking? How do we live life fully each day all the time realising that there is an aching gap in our life? For God’s people, these aren’t academic questions. God makes great promises but he doesn’t always conform to our expectations when fulfilling them.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

If our hearts are not to turn bitter or cynical then we need to heed the words of the divine visitor to Abraham’s tent. Nothing is too hard for God. What we deem impossible is anything but to God. We so often shrink God down to our own human-sized expectations. To him, giving babies to barren women, healing to the terminally ill, new hope to the hopeless, is all in a day’s work. That ought to at least bring a smile to our face and even some holy laughter.

David Reay