In Church this week, I spoke to several people who all had an issue in their lives that was causing them serious sadness – jobs, grief, anxiety…In fact, in general, not many people have everything good for ever, and most of us have at least one ‘if only’. Everything would be fine if only…
Abram’s was quite a serious ‘if only’. He desperately wanted a child; and his chances seemed to fade as each year went by. The problem seemed all-pervading – “What can you give me since I remain childless…You have given me no children.” (Genesis 15 v 2-3) He couldn’t see past it. God had certainly promised that he would become a great nation (which inferred children), but continuing childlessness perturbed him. No other blessings could make up for the fact of this enduring anguish.
For all his complaining, there is no record that Abram had ever ASKED God for a child. And it occured to me, that sometimes we can moan about things, even grumble to God about them, but not actually ask.
Nevertheless, God met Abram and understood his need, and made him a firm promise to reassure him that a son would surely come.
So how do we handle these problems of life that can wear us down, and blind us to all other blessings? That’s a massive question, and I’m just going to offer one little thought towards it. Don’t be blind to all the other blessings. Don’t miss out on the good things that God is doing. Abram had to wait a long time, but he did eventually get his son. Whether or not our prayers are answered eventually, we might as well make the most of what we have got and thank God for it. Being thoroughly miserable does not get your prayers answered any the quicker.