Meet Sarah …. Where geriatric meets maternity
By faith Abraham, even although he was past age – and Sarah herself was barren – was enabled to become a father.
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah whet He had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time that God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him… Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
We first meet her in Genesis 12:5 when Abram takes her, his nephew Lot and all of his possessions and they follow God’s call out of Haran. Abram was 75, Sarai was 65. And that call to go came with promises of blessing, one of which would be that Abraham would be made into a nation. In 12:7 it becomes a promise of offspring who would inherit the land of Canaan.
In the years that follow Sarai follows where Abram goes, lets Abram pass her off as his sister twice to save his skin, and probably heard in those early promises that her womb would be filled. But years passed without a child. She tried to bring the promise to fruition herself – giving her slave girl Hagar to Abram and they conceived a son, but that didn’t work out and still God’s promise didn’t come to fruition.
I wonder what Sarai faced, what she felt, what she uttered to God in those 25 years that passed before that promise was fulfilled… and greyed, aged and wrinkled she became known as Sarah …. And Mum.
… You might say she’s a complex character.
That’s what I was.
That’s what they called me.
And yet I was obedient…
“Go” You said.
And I went.
I followed where You led.
I heard those words of promise You said to my husband …
A great nation,
Hope seeped away each month as disappointment
Heaped on disappointment.
As I shook my head ‘No’ to Abram’s hopeful questioning look…
An empty womb,
25 years of emptiness,
All those years;
Even when I thought I could fix it myself,
Even when I thought I knew how…
And still a promise unfulfilled.
You surprised us all.
Of hope all but gone,
A barren promise almost forgotten
And You made it happen!
Bitterness, sadness, emptiness;
Making way for life
And a womb
And a promise
And not just for us
But for all.
You call each of us to follow,
You take the most ordinary of us,
And use us in extraordinary ways to fulfil your promises.
Not in ways that we might expect,
And not in nice tidy timescales either.
For in our mess you see opportunity.
In our weakness your strength in known.
And in our brokenness your light shines through.
Take me Lord,
In all of my complexities and mould me so that my life might be a fertile place where the life that you offer to all is seen
Give me faith to trust,
Hope that endures
And strength to persevere on the journey …however long it takes.