Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! —Psalm 27:14
Sarah is hailed in Scripture as a woman who reverenced and obeyed her husband. On at least one occasion, however, when God did not act as quickly as she felt He should, she decided to try handling matters on her own.
You most likely know the story. God had promised her husband, Abraham, that he would have many descendants and would be the father of a great nation. But Sarah was now seventy-six years old and still childless. Impatient with waiting, she decided someone had to do something, so she put pressure on her husband to take action, employing a common practice of the day by which a barren woman could produce a child through one of her servants.
At first, her plan seemed to work splendidly. But it didn’t take long for the situation to turn sour. The relationship between the childless wife and the expectant servant became unbearable, leading Sarah to go back to Abraham and say, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering” (Gen. 16:5 NIV). (Can’t help but feel for Abraham!) And although God supernaturally intervened some thirteen years later to give Abraham and his wife a child of their own, the son born of Abraham and Hagar’s union became a source of great conflict and grief to them (not to speak of untold generations to come).
How many times must Sarah have looked back in regret and said to herself, “Why couldn’t I have waited on the Lord? Why did I have to manipulate that situation?”
Yes, we can take the reins and try to solve our problems in our way and on our timetable—and we may even be able to achieve some immediate results. But remember: God always acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Far better to trust His wise plan than to reap the painful consequences of charging ahead and taking matters in your own hands.
Is there a matter where you are manipulating to get your longings fulfilled or to see your circumstances changed, rather than waiting on God to act in His time and His way?