Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making Our Own Problems

I have a bad habit of not being patient. Some time ago, I noticed the vinyl on our kitchen floor coming apart at one of the seams. I asked my husband to get some special floor glue to temporarily fix it until we saved the money to get the floors completely re-done. Well, I got tired of waiting on him and I took things into my own hands! I took some glue that's supposed to be strong and put it in the seam myself. It stayed together for several days and looked good. Then, it came undone again; this time much worse than it was before. My husband wasn't too happy with me. "I told you I would fix it when I got around to it," he told me. "Now what was once a small problem is even uglier." And he was right.

Abraham and Sarah made their small problem much bigger when they weren't willing to wait. Genesis 15 tells the story of how God came to Abraham (Abram at the time) and told him he would bless him and give him a heir so that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. But Sarah got impatient. She came up with a plan for Abraham to sleep with her servant, Hagar, and produce the heir both Abraham and Sarah wanted. In chapter 17, God even went on to bless Sarah and told her He would cause her to have a child with Abraham, even though she was an old woman by then. It was through this promised son, Isaac, and not through the natural son that Abraham and Hagar produced, Ishmael, that God's covenant of blessings was to be fulfilled.

Isaac was God's idea and plan; Ishmael was Sarah's idea and plan. One was the child of promise or the child of the Spirit; the other was the child of human effort, or the child of the flesh. Abraham had to wait 20 years for God's promised fulfillment. And when Isaac was finally born, Ishmael caused problems in the household, so Abraham had to send Ishmael away to his mother Hagar.

Many times the reason we're having problems is because we have produced our own Ishmaels rather than Isaacs. We are reaping the consequences of trying to carry out our own plans and ideas rather than waiting on God to bring forth His plan for us. And when things don't turn out the way we expect, we get mad at God because He isn't fixing things the way we want Him to.

John 6:63 says, "It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever." What we fail to remember is that what is born of the Spirit is spirit and what is born of the flesh is flesh. If you and I are going to fulfill God's will and plan us in this life, we have got to get flesh out of the way and let God be God in us.


Anonymous said...

"And when things don't turn out the way we expect, we get mad at God because He isn't fixing things the way we want Him to."

This line really spoke to me, Barbie. I have been struggling with some issues lately, praying very hard for a resolution. I have been listening to my heart for that answer...and nothing has happened. However, this week I had a breakthrough with these problems, God spoke to me and showed He was there and would come to me, in His own time. I know my frustration toward Him was foolish. Thank you for this post.

Ashley said...

This is something God keeps reminding me over and over. I have to turn it all over to Him on a daily basis. A lot of people say they put it in God's Hands and that is it. It's over and they don't go back. For me, it is a constant struggle and a daily decision. "Deny thyself DAILY and take up your cross." We know God has told us to adopt Grisha in Ukraine. He has opened up doors that were completely shut by men. He has changed our family and we have grown spiritually through this process. It has been long, hard, and very painful at times. A lot of days the wait and being apart from my son are unbearable. Even though we are doing what He has called our family to do, I have to give it to Him every single day. I can't make the $20,000 more that we need just appear out of nowhere. It is not will power that I can do to make this money come in. It is only in His perfect timing that we will bring our precious son home. As we wait on finances, we trust that He will bring it all in. He already has brought a lot in and this is nothing to Him. He owns it all anyway. So, thank you for the reminder that it is not me that can fix it all. I can't take it in my own hands and get this boy out of an orphanage. It is all God and only Him. I just have to be obedient.