From Sarai to Sarah – From Messes to Mercy

Hi, friends!

If you know me, you know that one of my most favorite things in the world is leading 2-year-olds at LifeKids on Sundays. And even though 2-year-olds get a terrible reputation, they are seriously the cutest kiddos you ever did meet. What I love the most about these little ones, though, is how much they teach me about Jesus.

My sweet little toddlers are fiercely independent, and they love figuring out how to do things for themselves. They love putting on their own socks and shoes, even though it takes them five minutes of struggling when I could help them in about five seconds. It makes you laugh sometimes, these little tiny people refusing your help. And I start to wonder…am I like this?

And most of the time, the answer is yes.

I’m fiercely independent, (which is basically a nicer way of saying that I’m exceptionally stubborn). And I can only imagine that sometimes, Jesus must laugh a little about how life would be so much easier if I would just let Him help me.

Because isn’t it funny how God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth with the power to literally breathe and speak the world into being, tells us He has a plan for our lives, and yet we often reject it for our own intentions?

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately because I’ve been a little extra stubborn these past few months. I keep demanding my desires on my deadline, refusing to simply be still and listen. I’ve exchanged faith for fear, and I’ve traded peace for anxiety.

I find comfort, though, in knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the story of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

See, Sarah used to be Sarai. Sarai, like me, was a little too impatient and a little too self-reliant. She knew that God called her to have a son, but when it didn’t happen on her schedule, she took matters into her own hands.

After a while of waiting and a season of doubting, Sarai suggested that Abram have a child with her servant. Then, homegirl got mad at the servant and the kid AND Abram because she got a little jealous, even though she’s the one that thought it was a good idea in the first place. (The Bible gets scandalous, right??)

It’s easy for me to call Sarai out for being impatient and foolish. But if I’m being honest, I can think of a thousand times I’ve done the same thing. I constantly try to solve my problems on my own, and then I’m frustrated when my silly solutions blow up in my face.

But then, there’s God. And what I love about God is that He can turn our mistakes into ministry and our messes into mercy.

And so He did.

Genesis doesn’t stop at Sarai’s Sin. The real story starts there.

God changes Sarai’s name to Sarah, and He changes Abram to Abraham. He promises to give them a son, who will ultimately fulfill God’s covenant for all of mankind!

And even though my footnotes tell me the name change comes from some sort of lingual shift, I can’t help but notice that when the “I” is removed, God’s plan has room.

When we take ourselves out of the equation, we allow God to be the solution. We allow Him to work in ways that glorify Him, which ultimately offer a better outcome than we can imagine.

What I love even more, though, is that Sarah still isn’t perfect. When God tells them this good news, she laughs. And honestly, if I were almost 100 years old and God told me I was about to pop out a baby, I’d probably laugh too.

But Sarah and I forget sometimes that God isn’t limited at all by our ability because “Absolutely nothing is too hard for the Lord.” (Genesis 18:14)

And you know what the kid’s name is? Isaac. Which means “he laughs.” But this time the laughter is not out of disbelief but out of delight. Delight in knowing that our God is a God who can do the impossible and deliver us from our doubts.

I find peace knowing that God helps us through our unbelief, if we are willing to ask for wisdom and faith.

Absolutely nothing is too hard for the Lord. So my challenge is to drop the “I.” To drop the restless impatience and instead earnestly seek God’s plan. What happens next may not be what I expect, but it will be well worth my surprise.

Here’s to the waiting, friends. Here’s to a God who can do much more than we give Him credit for. And here’s to a life filled with unknown adventures.

Love Always,

Alli

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