Devotional & Reflection
Genesis 17: Still Waiting, But Soon
Recently, my printer produced smudgy prints. So I did the print head cleaning and maintenance as suggested by the printer manual. But it still produced stained results. Then I looked into the manual again and saw that I needed to clean the rollers. But after cleaning the rollers, which looked clean in the first place, the problem still persisted. My wife and I were scratching our heads. What can we do? I thought we did shoot arrow prayers to God asking for divine help to solve this printer problem. But after cleaning here and cleaning there to no avail, I went shopping for the cheapest printer since we needed a printer desperately for our work. It was so difficult deciding which printer to buy. From the shopping centre, I called my wife to consult with her about which to buy, as I could not really decide. But then she felt that we should wait - hold back the decision to buy the printer. As I walked out of a departmental store, a thought came to my mind. Maybe I should just try to check on one other part of the printer that was not even listed in the manual to check for in the event of smudgy prints. When I reached home, I checked that one other part and found black ink and dirt there. I cleaned it and that solved the problem and saved me some money.
Sometimes the solution to our problems requires us to wait. We don't know why God wants us or "allows" us to wait. But if we have to wait for the divine answer, we know it is better to wait. Just like we know it is better to wait for a fruit to ripen before we pluck it.
Abram was 75 (Gen 12:4) when he left Haran to journey to the land of promise. God had promised Abram that he was to be a father of a great nation (Gen 12:2) and a son will come from his own flesh (Gen 15:4). He waited for ten years. But still there was no result and no fruit. That was when Sarai conceived of a plan to conceive a son through a surrogate. Abram was 86 years old (16:16) when Ishmael was born. In Gen 17, Abram was 99 years old. He had to wait for 24 years, nearly a quarter of a century, for God's promise to be fulfilled.
But the waiting was not in vain - even in the face of humanly impossible circumstances. Already Sarai was barren in her younger days. And now Abram was 99 and Sarai was 89 - an age even more unimaginable for child-bearing. Indeed God is All Mighty as He has said (17:1 - El Shaddai). And He will make Abram fruitful (17:2 & 6) - recalling the blessing to all humanity in Gen 1:28 & 9:1 and Abram in 12:2.
Sometimes we see no visible fruit now. But like Abraham (now re-named by God), the fruit did come - in the form of Isaac. But that is just the immediate fruit. Through the years, Abraham's seed led to kings culminating in Jesus - leading Matthew to trace the genealogy of Jesus as being rooted in the son of Abraham (Matt 1:1).
We can only see so far into the immediate future. But God has eternal spectacles. We need to trust Him more. Oftentimes, we need to be patient and learn to wait - resisting the "do it now" culture.
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