Shortcuts
By Gajus-Images

Think of something you truly need or long for in this world in order to feel your life has meaning. Have you thought of it?

Now imagine that God has prophesied you will have that very thing you’re longing for, and your long waiting will be over. How do you feel then?

Now imagine that it’s been ten years, and the joyful prophecy you told everyone about has never come to pass. You feel foolish and ashamed.

Maybe you haven’t been doing ‘your part’. There’s a way you could force it to happen, though it may not be strictly ethical. What do you do?

This was the dilemma that Sarai faced. It had been ten years since she was promised a child, and even though it was unlikely, she clung to that promise.

She had waited long enough, and maybe now she needed to give God a helping hand. She would let Hagar get pregnant, then bring up the child as her own (v6).

It wasn’t perfect, but she was ready for a compromise. This turned out to be disastrous. She had thought waiting was unbearable, but this outcome was worse, and her jealousy turned to violence against Hagar.

When we long for something and feel we’re owed it, the waiting can be unbearable. Perhaps we too turn to forcing God’s hand, somehow, and compromise our morality because we just can’t go on as we have been.

Consider today whether there’s any situation where you’re tempted to lie, manipulate or lose your temper because you’re impatient for a good solution.

However long our wait has been, Sarai teaches us to avoid dangerous shortcuts. Nothing is more important than our integrity, even when doing it right takes much, much longer.


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A Prayer To Make:
‘Dear Lord, it is so hard to wait for this thing I’ve been longing for. You know my heart. Please guard my motives and keep me from dangerous shortcuts. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Take time to be honest in prayer with God about all the things you’re longing for, asking for guidance and patience.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 4:6–12; 2 Sam. 11:1–27; Matt. 6:11–13; 1 Cor. 10:11–13

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.