In Genesis 12, God made this promise to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing … all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Verses 1-3).
Several years later, God renewed his promise to bless Abraham and then said something that changed everything. Abraham was told that his wife, Sarah, was going to have a son, and that the promise would be fulfilled through him.
When Abraham heard that, he laughed and thought, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Genesis 17:17).
In his mind, that plan was simply ridiculous, so he suggested something more logical: “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” (Verse 18).
Ishmael was one of Abraham’s other sons. Essentially, he was saying to God, “I know you will bless me, but it has to be through the son that I already have. I cannot believe that at my old age, I will have another son, so you better just use this one because that makes more sense.”
I love the answer he receives. God said, “Your wife Sarah will bear you a son” (verse 19).
A year later, Abraham and Sarah were changing diapers!
Here is the thing: Abraham never doubted the promise, but he did doubt the process. He never questioned whether God would bless him or not, he just thought that it had to be in a way that made sense to him.
It is easy to believe the big promises. Most people believe that things like salvation, heaven and forgiveness exist. However, to believe that God is at work in the process of getting those things to me, or me to them, is another matter. I want to know the “how.”
If I don’t see the way, then I am usually tempted to take control and force God’s blessing in a way that makes sense to me.
Abraham and Sarah learned a great lesson: if God made the promise; he will work out the process.
It may be in ways we never expected, but God will lead if we let him.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track” (Proverbs 3:5 and 6).