Sarai, Abram's wife, hadn't yet produced a child. She had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, "God has not seen fit to let me have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her." Abram agreed to do what Sarai said.
-Genesis 16:1-2 (The Message)
A driveway is incomplete if it does not have a basketball goal. I can remember helping with the installation of the first permanent hoop that was to tower above our drive--the post-hole digger, mixing concrete, using the level and sinking the post.
I also remember our neglect for the instructions, our oversight in using a tape measure, and this sobering fact: our basketball hoop could never be raised to exceed nine and a half feet tall.
Abram and Sarai has been informed by God that they would be parents to a son. This son was to be the first in a long line of descendants who would become God's covenant people, more numerous than the stars and as uncountable as the sands on the seashore. But the fulfillment of the promise was slow in coming. Sarai became impatient. Another plan was proposed.
Though Abram had been told that Sarai would bear him a son, he concurred with Sarai's alternative approach, and took Hagar his servant to his tent. Together, they conceived a son, Ishmael. But this son was not the son of the promise. Because Abram and Sarai became impatient, took a short cut, and tried to accelerate God's time table, they inherited a mess.
Like Sarai, we are prone to take shortcuts, to get impatient, to formulate and execute our own plans. But God asks us to be patient, and if we learn anything from Scripture and our experiences, God will fulfill his purposes in due time.
Don't take a shortcut. Be patient, yet deliberate and purposeful in waiting. When called to act, be ready to spring. God is faithful.
Sovereign God, help me to remain steadfast in my trust in you. Give me the strength to resist the temptation of hurry, of impatience, of mistrust. May I be diligent while I wait for your cue, and poised to act when the time is indeed right. Your way is best. Help me to walk in it. Amen.