I have often run into people throughout my life that relate to the story of Abraham in the Bible in the fact that they have been praying for something that they believe the Lord has promised, but they have been waiting for a long time and have yet to receive the promise. Just like Abraham whom the Lord spoke with and promised him that he would have a son. The promise was given, yet it took about 25 years between the promise being given and the promise being fulfilled.
This is something that I have never really been able to relate to. Perhaps because I am only 39 years and have only known the Lord since I was 19, therefore I just have not spent enormous lengths of time walking with the Lord. Perhaps I just never prayed about something for years on end without seeing results. I would often be awed by people who would tell me that they have been praying diligently for a promise from God (the salvation of a loved one, a call to a certain ministry, etc) for year upon year upon year. I guess I just never had such discipline to hold fast in prayer for such great lengths of time. I guess I’m too much from the “microwave society”, those of us who want to see promises given on Monday and seeing them fulfilled by Saturday.
So, I never really could connect with the account in Genesis where Abraham was promised an heir, yet had to wait patiently, trusting God along the way (even though stumbling) for 25 years. I never connected with that…until now.
Now, I have been given a promise from the Lord. A promise that is as sure as the sun rises and sets. A promise that I must hang all of my hope upon. A promise that is the only thing that brings me joy and peace…yet a promise that I may just have to wait longer than Abraham to see its fulfillment…only the Lord knows. And that is the promise that I will see my little girl again. The Lord has sworn it in His word. It is fact. I will see her again and spend an eternity together with her and the rest of my family in the presence of our living God. O this promise is glorious. It is more than the heart can fully comprehend. It is beyond words to describe it. This promise is given to me several times over all throughout the love letter that God my Father left for me. I read today about it again in John 11:25 where Jesus tells me: “I am the resurrection and the life. he who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” O yes I do. With all my heart, I do. Its His glorious promise to those that truly believe in Him. It is so complete. This is just another great reminder also that my daughter lives! He states, “He (or she) who believes in me will live, even though he (or she) dies.” Yes, my little Susana believes in Jesus, so I know that she lives even though she died. And then the promise is for me as well because He states, “whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” And so, as long as I am living and believing in Jesus, I will never die. And even when I do die, I will live because I believe in Him. This promise is so complete.
And His promises are painted for me all throughout this love letter called “The Bible”. His promises are amazing. They are made in a covenant of blood. They will not be broken. I can bet my life on it…and I do. Yes, the Lord has given me a promise that is simply amazing to think about. I will see my little girl again and we will live forever. Abraham must have marveled when he reflected on the promise that God gave him as He led him outside to make his point even more clear, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.” What an amazing promise to a man who longed to have a son more than anything else.
I wonder if Abraham knew how long he would have to wait before his son would be born. I seriously believe that Abraham was not thinking that he and Sarah were on the 25 year birth plan. But, according to God’s great plan, that’s exactly what it was. Imagine the pain and longing that they must have felt year after year when they did not see the results. Through their trials, they would come to learn to depend solely on God for their joy, strength, and hope. they would learn to walk faithfully trusting that the Lord is good and that His promises are true. It was a long time of waiting, but then, at last, the promise was fulfilled. O the joy that Abraham and Sarah must have felt when they held their son, the fulfillment of God’s promise, in their arms after waiting a quarter of a century.
And so I, like Abraham, have been given a promise of something that I want more than anything else – and that is to hold my little girl again, and I too, like Abraham, most likely will have to wait a very long time until I see the fulfillment of that promise. May the Lord Jesus give me the grace, strength, and hope as I press on in this life while looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s glorious promise to me. In the words of Tom Petty, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
Now, the next time I hear somebody telling me that they have been waiting on the Lord, like Abraham, for the fulfillment of a promise from Him, I can tell them that I can totally relate…because I too am waiting on a promise.
It has been hard…the waiting. I miss my little girl. The tears come just about every day at some point or another. My heart is broken. All that I can do is go before my God and cling to Him, the One who has given life to my Susana, the One who holds her now in His arms, the One who is truly the resurrection and the life. I cling to the One who has given such a promise, a promise that Susana has now seen fulfilled, and a promise that I surely will see fulfilled. Yes, in Him alone do I hope. And in Him alone do I find my strength. I can only imagine the glory that my little girl now lives amidst every single moment. O how my heart bears such witness that all of the promises of God are “yes” and “amen”. I can’t wait for His promise to me to be fulfilled. What a day that will be!