I remember going to a Christian conference that wasn’t too many miles from home. We could only go for an evening meeting due to work commitments and limited funds. They had printed a song book, rather than using a projector for the words, and you had to buy your own copy. The trouble was, they had run out. Most of the songs were new, so we didn’t know them, and with no access to words, it was hard to even catch on what they were about. I looked around at the rest of the congregation – lost in wonder and worship – they knew the songs as they’d been singing them all week, and they had their copies of the words, so they were ‘in there’. Not one offered to lend us a copy. Not one even noticed our lack. I was so angry! I had come hungry, having struggled financially to manage just one evening. It had been a long, sacrificial drive after a hard day at work. Why couldn’t these so-called Christians look out from their worship bubble and notice that I’d like to join in too! I felt like a child pressing my nose against the sweet shop window, with no hope of ever partaking of the joys within!
I wonder if that is how Sarai felt in Genesis 16 v 1-2. Abram had had all these wonderful promises and mystical experiences. God had revealed how special her husband was to him. He had been promised a son. But what about Sarai? What promises had she had from God? Maybe she felt she was not included in the blessing and promise, Oh how easy it is to feel left out when others are being blessed!
The answer is very obvious when you are not in that situation. You stop having a pity party and start pressing in to God for yourself! At that conference, I should have enjoyed the worship going on around me, and had my own worship time, regardless of words. I should have been focusing on God, not begrudging the joy of others. Maybe Sarah should have been asking God about it for herself, a child of God in her own right, not just the wife of Abram. At the end of the day, we have to take responsibility for our own relationship with God, and not depend on others, or favourable circumstances. Press in no matter what!