Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Genesis 26:1-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to King Abimelech of the Philistines. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
My wife Robin and I spent 4 years waiting on an adoption list before we finally received word that Benjamin would be coming into our lives. I can remember how when we first submitted our adoption application, everyone was excited that we would soon have a child. But as the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years, our adoption social worker never had any news for us, and many of our friends probably forgot that we were even trying to adopt. What looked to be a blessing on the horizon took longer than expected to materialize in our lives.
In the midst of a famine, I cannot help but wonder if Isaac wondered when God’s promise of descendants living in a land of plenty, flowing with milk and honey would be realized. His father Abraham had probably told him about the promise, and God repeats this promise to Isaac. Isaac probably thought, “now would be a good time God”, but the promise doesn’t materialize for a few more generations. Isaac is told to go live in the land as an alien. One day it will belong to his descendants, but today it belongs to the Philistines.
Sometimes, God puts us on hold as well. But like Isaac, we have the same promise. While something in our lives may still be out there, unrealized, in the meantime, we have God’s promise that God will be with us and will bless us, just as he promised Isaac and so many others throughout the story of scripture
Lord, it is hard to wait. We want it, and we want it now, or maybe even yesterday. Help us to realize that your timing is always perfect. Help us to understand that you plan those times of divine waiting into our lives, but even while we wait, you are still with us. Amen.
Go with God!