“Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’” Genesis 18:15 (NIV)
Sarah gives me hope. She is standing right in the presence of the Almighty… and SHE LIES! In His infinite grace instead of sending a lightning bolt to singe her tongue, God confronts her with THE TRUTH. Can you imagine? Being caught telling a bold face lie to the Maker of the Universe? Seems unthinkable! But we do it every day.
When you peek back at Sarah’s life, you will find she was much like you and me. Her influence over her husband and circumstances was chilling. Decisions she made without checking first with God’s plan have rippled through generations! God had promised to make Abraham the father of many. When Sarah felt she had given God just about enough time to get the job done and still saw no results, she decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. After all, if you want a job done, give it to a woman, right?
She tells Abraham to sleep with her maidservant—and he does! Can anyone see what is naturally coming next? When her plan works and the maidservant gets pregnant—she gets mad! The result of this unplanned pregnancy became the father of the Arab nations and God’s planned pregnancy became Israel.
We all have Sarah tendencies. We all make decisions that have a ripple effect on others. At first, we trust God and believe He is going to do great things with our lives. Then when it takes a little longer than we anticipate, we help God out by jumping in with our own plan that seems right to us (Proverbs 16:25).
Usually almost immediately, we can see this decision was a mistake, but instead of admitting we were wrong, we get mad and often blame someone else or worse yet, God. When the Lord then pricks our hearts with a soul-searching question, in self-defense mode, we lie.
My girlfriend calls it being a duck. She says I look calm, cool and collected on the outside, but I’m really paddling like crazy below the surface. On the surface, no one can see the battle that is taking place inside our hearts or minds. The pattern generally breaks down like this:
Trust – We trust God
Doubt – We allow stinkin’ thinkin’ to creep into our minds
Action – We make a decision without filtering it through God’s plan
Anger – We get upset when our plan unravels
Lie – We don’t admit we’re guilty of not fully trusting God
Regret – We eventually regret that we didn’t wait on God
Of course, God forgives and forgets our sins, but how beautiful might we become and how much pain might be thwarted if we stop this Sarah-cycle after the first step? Trust God.
Father, we are all like Sarah at times. We face days with our own set of worries and wants. Today Lord, help us to lean on You for our understanding and trust You fully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.