Wait for Isaac or Create an Ishmael?
I tend to be a "take matters into my own hands" type of person. I like a goal and a plan and then I like to get to work to make it happen. So, it's been, and still is, a lifelong process of learning when and where to apply my amazing, super human, planning skills and my patient, waiting on Gods timing (not so super) skills.
Recently, in a conversation with a friend about an opportunity that arose, I said, "(that opportunity) would be an Ishmael. I'm waiting for an Isaac." We will have plenty of opportunities to create an Ishmael in our journey to the promises of God. A few examples of "Ishmaels" are "good" opportunities that aren't God breathed, opportunities that line up with Gods promises for us but the timing isn't right, dreams/desires we are unwilling to wait for "God" timing on, and many more. If you've been a believer for any amount of time then you have something, or a number of things, God has promised you, ie. healing, breakthrough in finances, pregnancy, careers, etc. Abraham and Sarah waited for Isaac, the promise, for 25 years and in the midst of their waiting, they created an Ishmael. God still blessed Ishmael but, ultimately, He did not fulfill the promise he made to Abraham and Sarah through him.
Somewhere along the journey we will be tempted to create an Ishmael. We will be tempted, like Abraham and Sarah, to "make" the promises of God happen. The problem is that we can't possibly do that. Only God can do what God says He's going to do. We don't help Him in it unless He asks us to. Our main roles in it are to wait, cultivate joy, make our plans, let Him guide our steps, do what He HAS asked us to do, live our lives, enjoy what He's given us, trust Him, be thankful that the promise is coming, let faith grow and not diminish in us as we wait. Remember, the longer you wait, the closer you are :).
Easier said than done. Trust me. I know. BUT, ultimately, if we love God, and are living lives surrendered to Him, then we want our lives to be pictures of His power. We want our lives to SHOUT about how faithful and awe-inspiring our God is. Of course, Abraham and Sarah received the promise of God and it came at a time when there was NO WAY they could've gotten pregnant except by the POWER of God. 25 years they waited. There were no short cuts to Isaac. Yes, they got impatient and created an Ishmael but, ultimately, God did what He said He was going to do and their story, His story through them, speaks volumes to us today. Imagine what our story is speaking to those around us, our kids, our family, our community. This "waiting on the promises journey" is for so many besides just ourselves. God's into creating long-lasting, generational, impact not short-lived, microwave inspiration. Embrace the waiting, for your Isaac is, without a doubt, on his way.