With my own children and even the students in my classroom, I’ve realized that children often interpret the answer “maybe” to mean “yes”. They don’t consider the possibility that “maybe” could result in a negative answer. They often start anticipating the event or object for which they have asked even though they haven’t actually had that request confirmed.
Unlike children who assume “maybe” means “yes”, Christians usually interpret God’s “wait” answer to mean “no”. When things don’t happen as quickly as we would like, we get antsy and decide to take matters into our own hands. Such is the case with Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She had waited many years for a child, and finally assumed that God’s answer was “no”. Afterall, she was well beyond child-bearing years. Like so many of us, Sarah devised a plan to create the family she wanted so badly. She convinced Abraham that they could have children through her maidservant, Hagar. Things did not go as smoothly as she hoped, and Hagar began to despise Sarah. The family she desired did not happen as Sarah had planned, and the situation actually lead to much turmoil for all.
Like Sarah, we have a tendency to take matters into our own hands when we don’t get answers as quickly as we would like. What Sarah perceived as a “no” from God was actually a “wait” answer. Later, God announced to Abraham that he would finally have a son by Sarah. Genesis 17:17 says, “Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?'” They were old and had waited so long that it was difficult to believe. Sarah also laughed when she heard the news and questioned how this could happen when her body was old and worn out. God responded in Genesis 18:14 with, “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” God doesn’t need our help! Regardless of how complicated things may seem, nothing is impossible for Him!
Genesis 21:2 says, “Sarah became pregnant, and she gave a son to Abraham in his old age. It all happened at the time God said it would”. Regardless of their age, Sarah gave birth to Isaac at the age of ninety. She had waited a long time, but what she perceived as impossible happened just as God had promised. It’s hard to be patient and understand when we aren’t getting the answers we want, but we must remember that God loves us and wants the best for us. What we think we need or want isn’t always the best thing for us, and we may get a definite “no” answer. But in some cases we just have to wait for the right time. God has his own timeline, and He knows the perfect answer to every prayer as well as the perfect timing for those answers to be granted.
Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? Don’t give up, start to doubt, or take matters into your own hands. Remember Sarah and the blessing she received at the exact time God intended.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:14