Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Coffee with Sarah (Bible Mommies series)

Sarah: From Barren to Blessed

When a client steps into my counselor husband's office, one of the first things my husband asks is, "What's your probelm?" or "What brought you here today?"

Interestingly enough, the presenting problem represents a deeper issue in the person's life or surroundings. Would you say that's true for you, Sarah?

Definitely. I was desperate to have a child, but I think the real issue in my life was releasing control and allowing God to build my faith.  And of course, at this point in human history, mankind in general suffered from barren hearts. They'd walked away from God and exalted themselves.

In reading your story in Genesis, you enter the scene as a new bride with one distinction: you're barren. Short bio for the future mother of God's chosen people.

Sarah laughs. Yes, I guess you could say that.

Tell us a little of what it was like to be married to Abraham. He always seems like such a bigger than life figure. 

Yes, Abram was a good man. A righteous man. But he wasn't perfect. God had to chisel him into a patriarch of faith. And one of the first tests: the promise of a son, even in his old age. And not just any son, mind you, an heir through which God would build a great nation with descendants as plentiful as the stars. Sadly, what started out as faith in God's promise turned to doubt and impatience. And I certainly didn't help matters.

What do you mean?

Well, in hindsight, I now know God always has a reason for His delays. Sometimes, He withholds blessing long enough for us to come to the end of ourselves and our resources, then in grace, He acts. I believe that's what he did in mine and Abram's case. But I insisted on doing things my way rather than waiting on God. I pulled in Hagar to conceive a child on my behalf, thinking her son could be the promised heir. But that was so far from what God intended. He promised a child through Abram and me. 

What did you learn from your experience that you might pass along to my readers?

Sarah sighs. I struggled with infertility my entire life, well past the age for bearing children. And you know what I finally realized? The thing I struggled with the most is where God met me with laughter. You might recall that I named our son, Isaac, meaning "God laughs." Even in my disobedience, God graciously stuck to His promise. I love how God works! Such a blessing!

Yes. So true, Sarah. From barren to blessed. Thanks for joining me today and providing a glimpse into your life and lessons learned. 

Glad to be with you! 

So, dear reader, as you think about our time with Sarah, consider the following questions based on Genesis 11:30, chapters 15-18:15; 21:1-12.

* What qualities proved both strengths and weaknesses in Sarah's life?

* In what ways can you identify with Sarah?

* What areas feel barren in your life right now?

* Has God made any promises to you?

* What lessons can you learn from Sarah's faith journey?

We'll be visiting with Hagar next time to hear her side of the story! We'll keep the coffee hot. :)

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