Yesterday, someone shared a testimony with me. A person had received a message of encouragement, that God would answer a desire they’d had for more than 2 decades. The message turned out to be from the Lord because it came true – we could say it was a prophetic word for that person. However, at the time, the person was so discouraged, and so weary from hoping for God to answer their prayer that when the word of encouragement came to them – instead of receiving it humbly and prayerfully and waiting on God – instead they laughed.
This account reminded me of many accounts in the Bible, especially of Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 17 God appeared to Abraham saying:
‘I will bless (Sarah) and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” (Genesis 17:16)
The next verse tells us that Abraham fell on his face and laughed. In the very next chapter, in verse 12, Sarah herself also laughed when she heard the news. But God responded saying:
Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:14)
Now I’m fully aware of the times when I have known discouragement, having prayed, sometimes for a long time (though never 90 years), and I’ve thought that God wasn’t listening or that He was not going to respond according to the longing of my heart. But I am challenged by this and other stories in the Bible, along with the contemporary example that I heard yesterday.
I’m challenged that I must maintain a soft heart towards God, and that unless I hear otherwise, it is good and right to continue to pray earnestly, knowing that God hears our prayers and that I should trust in both His answers and His timing.
I’m challenged that I must maintain a heart of expectation, that God is with me, that He is for me when I follow Him in humility and faith, and that when God answers, the blessing so often is far greater than we were anticipating and asking for.
And I’m challenged to know, that God will use my experience as a witness to others. And when I remember that, I ask myself; will the story be told of someone who awaited God’s blessing with humility, patience and trust that God is good and faithful, or someone who laughed at the thought that God would bless me?