What We Learn from Abraham & Sarah
So much can be learned from the couples in the Bible that dealt with infertility. So over the next few weeks, let’s dive into these different couples and find out what we can learn from them.
Today, let’s start with Abram & Sarai (aka Abraham & Sarah), also known as Abraham & Sarah. A lot can be learned from this couple, as their story covers a span of several chapters in the Bible.
1. Don’t rush God’s plan and take matters into your own hands.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” –Genesis 16:1-9 NIV
When we’re in the midst of waiting, it’s natural to want to rush things and take things into our own hands. But as seen in Sarai’s situation, rushing God’s plan and taking things into our own hands rarely turns out the way we expect. And usually we make things worse, for ourselves and for what God actually wanted to do in our lives.
I know it seems things will never change or get better in your wait for bearing a child, but God really is working even when we don’t see it. In Isaiah 64:4 it says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
Right there God is letting us know that when we wait on him we can be sure he’s working on our behalf. Meaning there’s things happening that we have no idea of. We just have to put our trust in His plan, and not our own.
2. Waiting on the Lord is rewarding.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” … God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”” – Genesis 17: 1-8, 15-16 NIV
Here we see that God had promised them descendants and nations! Not only that but He gave them new identities that spoke into what He was making of them! What a sweet reward this was! This was all in addition to His promise to give them a child! I think this is a perfect example of Ephesians 3:20 NIV “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” and Zechariah 9:12 NIV “Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
Waiting on God and trusting Him brings so much more than the one thing we’re waiting on.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn…” – Psalm 37:5-6 NIV
3. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
“Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” – Genesis 18:10-14 NIV
The situation may look impossible. You may have several things stacked up against you. The doctors may be calling it impossible. Your history makes it seem impossible. Your countless losses might make it feel like it could never happen.
In my own life, I have hypothyroidism, PCOS, endometriosis and a pelvic disorder. All four of these may make having a child seem impossible. And believe me there have been times I have doubted and felt like all of this is stacked up against me. There’s no way I could ever bear a child, I thought.
But you know what? We serve a God of the impossible. Sarah was over 90 years old when she conceived! That’s impossible! Jesus performed miracles that were impossible consistently in His time on the earth. Many of my infertile friends have birthed children, or adopted children! That should be impossible!
But God …
“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”” – Matthew 17:20 NIV
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” – Matthew 19:26 NIV
4. God keeps His promises.
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded 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.” – Genesis 21:1-7
God told them and others told them they would bear a son. And they did. God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah.
And He can do the same for you. God keeps His promises to you and me.
“The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” – Psalm 145:13b NIV
In summation we learn from Abraham and Sarah that we need to leave our lives in God’s care, waiting on Him is rewarding, nothing is impossible for Him and He keeps His promises.
These are all amazing truths we can learn and apply to our fertility journeys as we wait on the Lord for our future family to be revealed.
What stands out to you the most from what we learned today from Abraham & Sarah?