a lesson from Sarah {of the Bible}

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If we were having coffee today, I’d lean in and tell you something that has become my lifeline as of late…

God is faithful.

I have been a follower of the She Reads Truth online devotional community for almost a year. I’ve shared what I’ve learned a few times here and here. Normally, I’ve been able to stay up to date on their plans and follow along with, but this round I started very late in the game. I started theWomen of the Bible plan right before the weekend hit.

The story of Sarai/Sarah has been one that I’ve taken interest in since I was little because we shared a name, but what I didn’t realize until this weekend was that was also shared the same fears and doubts.

For those of you who don’t know that story you can read it here: Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 16, Genesis 17:15-16, Genesis 18:1-21, Genesis 21:1-7.

Sarah was a woman who had been given a promise from God (along with her husband Abraham) that He would bless her with children. There was a hitch in this promise for Sarah.

You see, she was OLD.

Not old like 45 and maybe she could still get pregnant with modern day intervention, but Sarah was in her 80’s. Women at that age just don’t have children. But Sarah held on to the hope that God was faithful. She probably became very excited when Abraham told her the news that they would have a child. She more than likely started preparing her home for a little one and began to dream what her child would be like. But then days turned into months and months turned into years…no baby.

She started to doubt God’s promise to her. Instead of trusting in God’s faithfulness, she chose to make things happen. She decided that if God wasn’t going to open her womb, she would order her servant to conceive a child for her with her husband (talk about dramatic!). Sarah took the plans God had for her and made them into her plans. Her decision to move outside of God’s promise did not bring satisfaction; it brought her more bitterness and a deeper desire to control.

Sarah’s excitement for what God had promised turned into restlessness, which catapulted into sin through her own fears and doubt.

Oh, how I see myself in her.

God’s call to adopt was as strong as any call I’ve had on my life. 8 months ago I was excited and expectant! I knew that God was going to move and do great things in our lives.

And then it got hard. Oh did it get hard.

I started to doubt and fear that maybe God wasn’t as big as who He said He was in the Bible. Or maybe He was, but did He really care enough about us? I began looking for answers in all of the adoption Facebook groups, thinking that if I just knew more about our process or if I could just control one aspect of our adoption…all of this fear would go away. I began to trust the process more than the one who holds the process in His hands.

This part of Sarah’s story ends after 14 years of waiting. She gave birth to Isaac at the age of around 90. Isaac, the promised child, was the father of Jacob, renamed Israel, and the nation of Israel was birthed. God had an intricate plan for this child and family!

And God was faithful to Sarah. During those 14 years, Sarah fell many times to her own fear and doubts, but God never waivered in His promise. He continued to pursue her and remind her of His goodness. God was with her in the wait.

I have a choice and so do you. We can lean into God when the waiting gets hard and experience a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, or we can go off on our own and try to find our answers in the idols of our heart. I can promise you, those idols will fail us even if they look pretty and helpful. Friends, let’s lean into the God who never waivers.

The God who does not change and keeps His promises (Num. 23:19).

Today, lets believe that our God has a plan for us and rest in the truth that He is making all things work together for our good (Rom. 8:28).

 

 

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Joy in the Restoration #shereadstruth

(A few months ago I blogged about an online community that’s sole purpose is to help women read the Bible on a daily basis. You can read my thoughts here from that particular study.)

For the past 10 days I have been walking through the Psalms of Ascent with #shereadsruth. For those of you that don’t know where those Psalms are, check out Psalms 120-134 (I didn’t know that until just ten days ago!). These are the songs that the Israelites would sing as they journeyed back to Jerusalem for the Passover, remembering how God lead them in the desert and brought them to their promised land. It has been incredible for me to be journeying with the Israelites over the past few days. As of late, my life has been a slow, steady journey forward to the hope of including more children in our family. Reading these Psalms has opened my eyes to see what God is doing in my heart and it has been painfully beautiful.

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
(Psalm 126 ESV)

By God’s grace, He has sustained me these past few months of paperwork, waiting, more paperwork, and more waiting. He has been so very good to keep my heart at peace. But there are days when I see a glimpse of anxiety or I see my impatience rise up in other areas of my life. It’s in those moments that I know that my heart needs a lot of kneading and sowing over the next 10 months to a year! On the #shereadstruth blog, I posted some of my thoughts from this passage. I’m going to leave you with that today. I know that not many of you are walking the same path I am of adoption. But many of you are waiting. Many of you are sowing those tears of hurt and fear and uncertainty. It’s in those times, that we can look back and see what God has done for us in the past and rejoice that He will do GREAT things for us again! We are in the desert right now, being refined and being restored, and what a glorious gift that is to know that God is working on our hearts! I pray that today as we go about our busy lives filled with so many things, we can take a moment to rest in the truth that God has done great things for us and WE ARE FILLED WITH JOY!

Psalm 126 is becoming my anthem for this season in life! As my husband & I pursue adopting our two little children from Africa, I have wavered in my belief that God can give me joy in the waiting. I’ve read this passage countless times and I have become struck by the idea of being restored. In order for something to be restored, it often goes through a painful process of being taken apart, throwing broken parts away, being ground down, and THEN finally put back together. The final product is beautiful & better than what it was before. The result is joy & thanksgiving! How much greater joy can I have at the end of the restoring process, if I rejoiced during it too! My prayer for this season is that I would rest in the peace of God and rejoice in the truth that He is working on my heart to transform me more and more like Christ so that the world might have a better picture of the awesome power and grace of our God!

#shereadstruth

SheReadsTruth

About two weeks ago I stumbled upon a hashtag over on Instagram that said #shereadstruth from a blogger that I recently began to follow (naptimediares.com). I was intrigued by it, so I did a little further study and found that it was a group of women online, who live all over the country, having quiet times in the same book of the Bible with a little devotional thought to be challenged and encouraged with throughout the rest of the day. The book they were starting to study was Ephesians and ironically enough, that is what Revolution (www.tucsonrevolution.com) is going through this Fall! I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to join up on my YouVersion app, on my Kindle, for 17 days and read along with them. I’m so thankful I did!

The short study each morning has been helpful to keep me focused and diligent on spending time in the Word & in prayer, but it has also opened up a whole new world of ways to connect with people online. It’s been a blessing to see other women’s thoughts on their quiet time and how they have applied that to their lives as wives, moms, friends, etc. Here’s my thought from today as I read from Ephesians 6:1-4:

As I was reading this morning and reflecting on how I can take this to heart today, I read from the ESV study bible notes and it said that “obedience is evidence that you know God”. I may not have children to train up to obey God & his/her parents, but I am called to obey God, my Heavenly Father. The only way that my heart can truly obey God is if I am daily communing with Him and if I deeply know His heart and His desires so that I can live a life of joyful obedience. I may just put this thought in my future parenting idea book! If my future children don’t know the greatness of God’s love & also don’t know my heart, how will they know how to obey God or myself? My prayer is that I will always be seeking God & growing closer and closer to His heart and out of that I live a life of obedience.

So, if you’re a woman & you feel like you are needing a little help to keep up a consistent quiet time, maybe this is the answer! Go on over to shereadstruth.com to check it out! Shameless plug…I know 🙂