“Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NIV)
For more than two decades I prayed the same prayer. Desperately, I pleaded for God’s intervention in a close family relationship.
Crouched down on my knees, I fumbled around for words that would somehow touch the heart of God in a way I had not done before. Some days the words flowed like water from a broken faucet, and other days they were nonexistent, replaced by tears.
I was in a waiting period, sandwiched between my prayer request and God’s answer to it. Seasons passed, both in nature and my life, as I waited on God to bring calm to the end of my storm. I met and married my husband, birthed two sons and watched them grow — all while waiting on answered prayer.
Growing accustomed to the wait, I still believed God was able to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine. I just wasn’t sure He would do it for me.
I imagine this is where Sarah found herself. She, too, was familiar with the waiting place. For several decades of her marriage, she waited on God to make her a mother.
When Abram was 75 years old, God established a covenant with him. He promised to make Abram into a great nation. (Genesis 12) However, this promise would not be fulfilled for another 25 years — and several unanticipated delays later. (Along the way, he and his wife even got new names: Abram and Sarai became Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17.)
Scripture offers us a glimpse into how this waiting impacted Sarah. In Genesis 16:2, Sarai suggested Abram sleep with her maidservant to build a family through her. Sarai’s unimaginable actions were her attempt at obtaining the offspring she longed for.
Devastating heartache preceded this daring move. She was driven to manipulate the circumstances of her life because she saw no other way.
Then in Genesis 18:12 (KJV), Sarah described herself as “waxed old” as she questioned whether she would have a child the following year. This phrase in Hebrew means worn out and decayed. She had more faith (or lack thereof) in her physical condition than she did in the words of God.
God challenged Sarah when He responded to Abraham in Genesis 18:14 by questioning, “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (NIV). Despite Sarah’s disbelief, God kept His promise.
She became pregnant and bore a son, whom she named Isaac. This promised child was the embodiment of what Sarah perceived to be “too hard for the LORD.”
Is there anything in your life that seems impossible?
Lingering for days and sometimes years, these things tempt us to believe they are beyond the reach of God. It may be a sickness, a financial need, a wayward family member or a difficult relationship (as it was in my case). No matter what it is, or how God chooses to bring about a resolution, things that seem impossible are possible with Him.
I experienced this a few months ago when the relationship I had been praying about for decades suddenly took a dramatic turn for the better. God met me in my waiting place — just as he met Sarah — and began a process of healing that I previously deemed unlikely. He is able to do the same for you.
Although we cannot control how or when God answers prayer, His words to Abraham respond to our doubt as well: “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer to this question is a resounding, “No, nothing is too hard for Him.” He is able to do what seems impossible.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that nothing is too hard for You. When I’m in a waiting season, help me to trust in You and believe that You can do what seems impossible in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.