“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..” – Gal 5:22 (NIV).
Patience even when God has made promises to us is not that easy. Up in his 80s Abraham did not have a child yet, much as he desired one. It is difficult to accuse Abraham of being an impatient man having waited this long. So when his wife Sarah suggested, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her” (Gen 16:2, NIV), Abraham didn’t hold back.
From there on things would not turn out well. Soon Sarah felt bitter that Hagar was now despising her. So Sarah started accusing Abraham. “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms and now she knows she is pregnant, she despises me” (Gen 16: 5). To maintain domestic harmony Abraham surrendered back Hagar to Sarah who then started mistreating her. In fact Hagar had to flee to the desert where an angel found and ministered to her (Gen 16: 7-14). Later, she “gave birth to Abram’s son. She named him Ishmael” (verse 15).
Ultimately God in His right time enabled Sarah to have a son as he had promised “I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son” (Gen 18: 14). Indeed, “Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (Gen 21:2). But in spite of that matters only got worse as Sarah in her triumph now urged Abraham to get rid of Hagar and her son Ishmael (verse Gen 2: 10).
Some say that the long bitter animosity between the Jews who claim ancestry to Isaac as their patriarch and Arabs who claim ancestry to Ishmael as their patriarch all started from there on to this day. But how did it all begin? Sarah just got in the way of God and the consequences are still here burning with us.
Waiting on God can be difficult at times but next time you feel the urge to go against His timing know sour consequences can long outlive you. Let us with the power of the Holy Spirit be ever patient.
Prayer for today: Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that through the power of the Holy spirit my life bears the fruit of patience!