As I sat in this week’s Bible study I wondered, “How many of us out there are walking in Sarah’s shoes?”
We were discussing the story of Sarah and Hagar.
Sarah was definitely drawing the short stick when it came to compassion and understanding.
It was, “…poor Hagar” this, and “…poor Hagar” that.
(I kept thinking, “Poor Sarah.”)
We women, really know how to trash other women at times, don’t we?
Especially if we think they just don’t quite measure up to our ideas of what we think they should.
(Thanks for suggesting this “walk n’ talk” by the way. It’s great to get outside on this beautiful autumn day.)
So today we left our teapots behind, filled our thermos to the brim, and somehow as we walk and talk, we meander into a discussion on disappearing hopes.
As we walk, I see you, (not saying much,) but silently nodding.
When our faith wears thin
Right here, is where I confess, that I never planned to walk in Sarah’s shoes. “Oh, no!” In fact, the day a dear friend handed me her beautiful handwritten “prophecy” on Sarah, (comparing her life to mine,) I’ll admit I wanted to rip it up and throw it back in her face!
I didn’t want my life to look anything like Sarah’s!
“Thanks anyway “T” but no thanks!
I was in my mid-thirties at the time, with high hopes for where my life was headed. A personally addressed prophecy of long delayed hopes? Dreams postponed for decades? Baby at ninety? “Are you kidding God? This ain’t one bit funny!”
I took that beautiful “prophecy,” stuck it in the bottom of my hope chest, as far out of sight as I could get it!
(And, no, the irony is not lost on me!)
This side of the mountain
Emilie is smiling one of those wistful smiles as she begins to share her thoughts on faith and hope. She reminds us that faith is much like climbing a mountain…
… we have to face the fact that some of the time, maybe most of the time, we won’t be able to see exactly where we are going.
But that’s where faith comes in. Faith always travels hand in hand with hope–it’s what enables us to keep our hopes up when the way becomes rockier and more obscure.
I look at Emilie shaking my head and laughing, “I sure have a lot more understanding and compassion for Sarah today at sixty-eight than I did in my thirties!”
We laugh as I stare at my shoes and point, “Never did I think for one moment that God would ask me to walk all these miles in Sarah’s shoes! What once seemed incomprehensible, now looks ridiculous–no wonder Sarah laughed!”
God’s promises: ignore the word impossible!
- For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1: 37 KJV
- But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19: 26 KJV
- But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11: 6 KJV
- When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. Hebrews 6: 13-18 The Message
“Stay the course.”
God has whispered these three little words to me so many times when I wanted to just lay down my hope and walk away.
When I wanted to go and God said, “Stay.” Or when I wanted to stay and God said, “Go.” Faith must believe God and obey no matter how things look.
If you feel today like your hope has worn thin, and your faith is weary of the journey you’re on, remember Sarah.
Though her hope failed God remained true to His promise.
(He will remain true to you.)
Yes, the climb of faith can sometimes stretch out and seem without any end in sight. But our God is a God who laughs at the impossible. He says to you today, “Trust Me. Follow Me. We’ll get there… and it will be glorious!”
Our fourth cup of hope
Can you think of someone who might be walking in Sarah’s shoes?
Perhaps someone who wants to just give it all up?
Someone who could use your gentle words of HOPE?
Let’s all share our cup of hope with someone this week who has been climbing a long time, and their faith needs a fresh promise from God’s word. If the Holy Spirit nudges you–share it won’t you?
We all get weary sometimes in this walk of faith You’ve called us to.
Forgive us when we want to give up. Help us to “stay the course” You’ve called us to.
We live to please You–not ourselves–not others. Holy Spirit grant us the strength to keep on trusting You–no matter how things look.
In Jesus name we ask this, amen.
* Emilie’s “gems” are shared with the permission of Harvest House Publishers. They are: Taken from: A CUP OF HOPE by Emilie Barnes, Copyright © 2000, Published by Harvest House Publishers
Photos courtesy of: Unsplash
This weeks photo credits and “My Thanks!” go to photographers: Riya Goel, Valentin Salja, Sharon Garcia, Manki Kim, Omar Lopez, Dylan Siebelink, and Zahid Hasan Joy