Reflections on Abraham
Part Three: Children and Volcanos
Genesis 16.1 - .16
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16.1 & .2)
In our culture we love to be in control and we love to have plans. Huge amounts of money is spent on calendars, personal organizers and software to get our plans and schedule under our control. Recently the entire European continent learned that no matter what their plans, calendars or personal organizers tell them they are not in control. The Eyjafjallajokul Volcano, whose name is nearly impossible to pronounce, shut down most of Europe’s airspace causing thousands if not millions of people to put their plans travel by air on hold. They couldn’t do what they planned to do. They learned that they were not in control and nothing they did would allow them to be in control of the volcano!
When we try to control everything and go our own way rather than waiting patiently for the LORD it causes trouble. Look at Sarai and Abram’s attempt to start a family. Abram knows the LORD has promised him a child but Sarai is either impatient or thinks she has a better plan. So she offer her maidservant, Hagar, as a surrogate and will start a family through her. She wants to be in control of this situation instead of waiting for the LORD. This causes trouble. Sarai becomes jealous of Hagar. Hagar is sent away. Abram is caught in the middle. The family Sarai wanted to start falls apart instead!
When we try to take control it causes trouble. When we try to make plans but don’t surrender them to the LORD we sin. (James 4.13 - .17) Instead we need to wait patiently for the LORD and surrender our plans to His will.