By Lisa Willis
Years of wandering. Years of waiting. All hope of the promise dried up with the monthly flow that ceased somewhere back in the desert. Sarai had no son.
Abram had a promise. A ludicrous promise, to be sure, as he was old and had ceased to visit her tent. But he had had a visitation from El Shaddai, who promised him a son from his own body.
Sarai is not mentioned in Genesis 15. How did news of Abram’s promise strike her, I wonder, when she had been barren her entire life; she had to have felt
not only excluded, but specifically excluded. What do you suppose she considered herself worth, when she had endured the years of the hardship of a nomadic life,
only to be told her husband would father a child with, obviously, someone else. We’ve no idea how long it took her to come to the conclusion that offering
Hagar as a surrogate was her only chance of having even a part in the promise, nor do we know how long it took Abram to agree. It was enough that he did…and that Sarai sent Hagar to Abram’s tent.
What sacrifice did she make there? To send another woman, who had to be her closest friend and confidant, into her husband’s embrace? She would have been
alone in her tent, knowing that Abram was not alone in his. Hagar was pregnant after months, maybe even just weeks, not years. I think Sarai knew in her spirit
once they confirmed the pregnancy and Hagar suddenly took on a superior air that they’d made a mistake. Hagar became scornful and disrespectful and Abram refused
to intervene on Sarai’s behalf.
Sarai had no one left. From her viewpoint her husband…her best friend…even her God…had all betrayed her. All the years of following Abram around, putting herself at risk by calling herself his sister, all the years that Hagar had had her
complete trust would have all seemed for nothing. Nothing. Who cared for Sarai now? What did she have to offer?
She took her frustration out on Hagar, who ran away, but came back because an angel had been sent to speak to her.
An angel. Hagar had her own personal visitation from an angel. But what word did God have for Sarai? El Shaddai seemed to not even be aware she was on the
Almost fourteen years went by before Abram came back from another meeting with El Shaddai and called for all the men of his household …and very sharp knives. He also brought word that El Shaddai declared that he was now to be called Abraham and Sarai would now be known as Sarah. Princess.
After 14 years of believing God cared nothing for her, now He called her ‘Princess.’
A bitter, betrayed, broken woman with nothing to offer. El Shaddai called her ‘Princess.’
And, what had to be mere days later, God asked for her by name, told her what she thought, answered the questions of her heart, and assured her that, even though
she was afraid and disillusioned, her weaknesses were seen and yet did not disqualify her from the promise she now shared with Abraham. Everything new for Sarah came from that moment, when she could no longer consider herself someone who didn’t matter. God <i>saw</i> her. He<i> knew</i> her.
And she was part of His plan.
Have not each of us felt at some time that God has forgotten, is not interested, has found a disqualifying flaw, has rejected, has overlooked the heart’s desires
and dreams? Time passes and others step into what had been that secret hope? With no evidence of even being in line for His favor?
Believe with me. He sees He knows. And each one of us has a vital place in His plan.