Being in the waiting room in the hospital is scary. Even if the risk of surgery going wrong is not high for your loved one, seeing all the other families waiting for theirs is gut-wrenching. Life has its own waiting room of sorts. We may be waiting for our health to improve, waiting for a breakthrough in our marriage or for me, waiting to hear God (read my about).
Abraham and Sarah were also in the waiting room. Abraham was 75 years old when God asked him to relocate to the promised land (Genesis 12:4). Later in Genesis 15, God specifically promised him a great nation and the descendants will come from him even though he was childless. Abraham and his wife Sarah were married before they relocated, and it was until Genesis 21 when Abraham was 100 years old that his son Isaac was born.
That would be a long time in the waiting room.
Taking Things into Our Own Hands
It was no wonder then that they decided to take things into their own hands, by getting Abraham to have a son with the maid Hagar, and Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years old (Genesis 16:16)
What followed (in Genesis 16) was a string of rivalry and resentment – almost to the point when it felt like everything was spinning out of control, and paradoxical considering that they were trying to take control:
- Hagar after conceiving, despised her mistress Sarah
- Sarah then blamed Abraham
- Abraham retorted ‘do to her as you please’
- Sarah was mean to Hagar
- Pregnant Hagar fled to the wilderness
Fortunately for Hagar, God intervened and encouraged her to return and submit to Sarah, with the promise that her descendants would multiply. Subsequently, God also reassured Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18 that they would have a son.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”Genesis 16:13 (NIV)
Good-to-know about Waiting Rooms
- Waiting Room is for Waiting
We want to do something while we’re waiting, especially if it is something important to us. And even more when we know something is supposed to happen. That’s why when I read that Sarah told Abraham to have a child with the maid and he listened to her (in Genesis 16:2), which occurred right after the promise from God in Genesis 15, I can totally empathize.
… “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”Genesis 15:4 (NIV)
It was not stated who will be the mother of the heir, and I imagine that knowing something that they wanted (children) would materialize might have hastened the decision to take things into their own hands. Can you think of a hasty decision that you made, when you did it because it was something you always wanted + now would be a good time to get it? I can certainly think of one I made, which ended with a financial loss. So, maybe the next time we are in the waiting room, we can pause and consider waiting as an option.
The Doctor is In
Just because we are in the waiting room does not mean that no one is working. God is certainly working – maybe not in the way we expected. An angel of God comforted Hagar and gave her a promise of numerous descendants. God did bless Abraham and Sarah with a son, though the wait would be another 14 years later.
I believe though that faith still have to be accompanied by the act of showing the faith. But when we take action, is that the right decision or just taking a step in a big detour? Whatever it is, we are glad that God is always watching and no matter what route we take, it is still a faith journey.
Having Faith in the Waiting Room
Genesis 16 Journaling Prompt
Are you facing a crossroad in life?
Is there someone who you can reassure with what you have read in Genesis 16:13, of a God who sees?
God, I don’t know if this is something I should be acting on or I should be waiting a while longer. I want to listen to your voice and have you light the path for me.
Books on Making Things Happen
I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
I ❤ Marie Forleo and watches her videos every time I feel lost or need that dose of optimism. She is so sincere and always encouraging. Mel Robbins’ audio book is free with Amazon Audible trial (as of time of writing). I came across You Are the Girl for the Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You – the reviews were really good for this book, I have to read it ‘cos the title is already calling out to me 😉