Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sarah's Story

I'm going to tell a little more of Sarah’s background story, so hang with me.

Ten generations have lived and died since Noah landed his ark, and Sarah and Abraham are in the land called Ur around the fertile crescent – they are childless. Custom of the day would allow Abraham to divorce her on the grounds of barrenness, but he doesn't. :)

One day Abraham hears a voice telling him to move to the land of Canaan and that he will be blessed and become the father of many. At the age most of us are thinking about retiring and taking it easy, Sarah, 65, begins an incredible journey ... a geographical, spiritual, emotional, and physiological journey. She begins a divine journey … a journey she hopes will mean she’ll finally have children.

Yes, Sarah changed her life because this God had promised to make her husband’s seed produce a large nation. She was wrapped within God’s holy, and wholly miraculous, plan to create a people that would walk the earth carrying Him in their hearts.

But life was tough in Canaan – a famine hit the land – and the couple decided to leave the place God had called them to and seek provisions for themselves. They headed south to Egypt. Arriving at Egypt, Abraham suspected the men there might kill him in order to attain his beautiful wife. So, he devises a plan and tells Sarah to claim they are nothing more than brother and sister.

She does and soon Sarah is taken into the Pharaoh’s harem. I can still recall the first time I read Sarah and Abraham’s story in the Bible more than a decade ago. I was so mad at Abraham; I couldn’t believe he would let his wife be taken into another man’s harem! Now I am able to see that he was trying to keep the both of them alive and ensure they would have plenty of food, shelter, and provision.

Sarah would be well provided for in the harem, and Pharaoh would pay “her brother” for the privilege of owning her. Pharaoh gave Abraham a handsome assortment of sheep, donkeys, cattle, camels, and servants. So it seems Abraham and Sarah had succeeded in acquiring both protection and provision for themselves. But God was none too pleased.

He immediately struck Pharaoh and his whole household with disease. Pharaoh figured this had something to do with the new woman brought into his harem and learned the truth from Abraham. And this is the point I would expect the chosen couple to be killed, or at least stripped of all their possessions, but Pharaoh feared their God and sent them on their way with their possessions. In the end, it was actually God that provided for them in Egypt.

This is where we picked up the story in our reading. It would seem that God’s plans are back on track now with Abraham and Sarah reunited and in the right place. But we’re dealing with a woman here. And women can be impatient, am I right? We can be planners and schemers, and take-controllers. When the God-promised child didn’t seem to materialize, Sarah took matters into her own hands and gave Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, to sleep with. Are your eyes rolling?

I also used to get mad at Abraham for sleeping with Hagar, but this was a common practice of the day when your wife was barren. Not to mention that this was Sarah’s idea!

You know how women can be very persuasive, and not give it a rest until their husbands comply. So Abraham sleeps with Hagar and there is soon trouble. As Hagar’s belly grows, so does Sarah’s envy. As Abraham’s attention is turned to Hagar and his child she is carrying, Sarah’s jealousy takes root. Perhaps Sarah now thought her plan was a mistake (one that could not be reversed) but was unwilling to admit it and took her regret out on Hagar.

Sarah’s pragmatic attempts to help God keep His promise brought her and the world anguish. The descendants of Hagar and the descendants of Sarah are still fighting today in the Middle East. Why did God allow Ishmael to be born? Honestly, I don’t know. I could speculate about God’s ways and His grand plans … His ability to see the future and our ability to freely choose if we will follow God or rebel. I can’t say for sure, but I do know this from our study of Eve: God can be trusted to have our best interests in mind, even when it does not seem like it. Remember?

Fast forward and Sarah is about 90. She overhears angel-men telling Abraham that she will have a child – from her own body this time – within the year. She laughs.

How will me and Abraham uh-hum, you know? How can a barren woman get pregnant and give birth, much less at this age!? This is impossible, she thought, so much so that its laughable.

When the Lord called Sarah out about laughing, it wasn’t because He is so stuffy that laughter isn’t allowed in His people. The exchange between them wasn’t really about laughter at all. It was about faith.

If you recall, she took off years ago for Canaan believing the promise God had made about her and Abraham having children – a great nation. Somewhere along the way, her faith in God dissipated, and she no longer thought this possible. Read Gen. 18:15 again substituting the word “doubt” for “laugh.”

Sarah: “I didn’t laugh (doubt).”
God: “No, you did laugh (doubt).”

But despite Sarah’s doubt and skepticism, despite her lying to God and her deception in Egypt, despite her taking matters into her own hands and then jealously mistreating Hagar, despite all this …

“The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would.” (Gen 21:1-2)

There are so many noteworthy things about the verses above. Like the fact that God was faithful even when Sarah was less than. And the fact that it shows His plans will always unfold at “just the time” He purposes.

However, what I really love in the verses above is the two words “for Sarah.” God did for Sarah. Not just for His own grand plans. Not just for the history of the world. Not just so we could study and learn from her today, but God did “for Sarah.” What love God had for this woman!

Now, again, substitute the idea of faith for the word “laughter” in Gen 21:6.

And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter (faith). All who hear about this will laugh (believe in Him) with me.”

Some reflection questions:

Is there some “Egypt” or “Hagar” in my life – some area where I’m not trusting in God’s provision?

Has God given me a dream or a promise that I’ve given up on? … What am I “laughing” about?

I can’t wait to hear from you - what did you feel or learn when reading Sarah’s story?

Don’t worry if someone has already posted something similar – the writing and recording of your thoughts is part of your process, so go ahead and post!

199 comments:

  1. Awesome! Thank you soooo much for your insight.

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  2. Having read this many times in my life, I see Sarah in a completly different light.. much more like me when I think that I know more than God does for my life and take things into my hands instead of waiting for His timing!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. OK God, I've done this which you told me to, now I want that, and I want it right now.

    How easy it is for me to forget that God sees and knows infinitely more than I and His plan for me is so much greater than anything I can conceive. I need to learn to have faith and wait patiently for God's will to take place. He does keep His promises and His gifts are awesome.

    I can't even imagine Sarah's excitement and gratitude when she held that promised child in her arms for the first time. I don't think she ever laughed at God again.

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  4. God's plans are always best, despite how difficult it is to wait and trust. This is an encouraging and challenging story for me. I'm so thankful for it.

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  5. Thanks to all of you for your comments about Eve. I have learned so much and have a greater understanding of just how much God cares for us. I am so blessed to have such a great group of ladies from which to learn and share.

    Now about Sarah. I was struck by the similiarities between Sarah and Eve. My first thought was when it said she was listening to the conversation with the men from the tent. Was she eavesdropping? How like Eve she felt she had to be "in the know"! Am I reading too much into that? But it did make me think of how much I like to be "in the know". My second thought was about Sarah denying she had laughed. It says she was afraid.(Also like Eve who hid because she and Adam were afraid.) Was she afraid because of what she had done to Hagar? Or was it something else? I would like your thoughts on this. Very curious similiarities, don't you think?

    Through these Bible studies, God is opening my eyes to those things deeply rooted in me ----the need to be in control, in the know, fear --all of which can be covered by the Blood! Sometimes, I think we have to come to the realization that "I have a problem"--for me, only when I do this, can I find any relief or comfort. I confess it as sin because it separates me from God and ask forgiveness and turn from it. There are no words I can use to describe how I feel when I receive that comfort. PURE JOY!!!!!

    Eagerly awaiting the rest of the discussion!

    Enjoying it!

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  6. Rachel: Thanks so much for sharing your insight. I went back again and read the passage again during my quiet time. I circled the words "for Sarah" this time because He keeps His promises.

    Amazingly, in my devotional time this morning, I was in Hebrews 6:13-20 about "The Certainty of God's Promise" and how He kept His promise to Abraham! v 15 "And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." vv 19-20 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf." Beautiful! What a way to start the day!

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  7. I am again reminded of how things turn south when we try to follow our own plans and rely on our own wisdom instead of relying on God. I have experienced falling flat on my face when I try to acccomplish things without God's help. If I try to fight my battles without him, I will never win. Sarah tried to "make things happen" and some things happened that were not too great. This has happened to me too. Now I see that I have to demonstrate a willingness to trust in Him, that He does have my best interests in mind and that His way is always the best.

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  8. So often I find myself, even in my prayers, asking God to help me do something or asking how I can handle something. I keep forgetting that it is not me but Christ that can do all things. Sometimes I think that God has to get someone in a position where they will know that it is definately God in control. Sarah would certainly have had to know that her baby was truly a gift of God and not anything that she had done. Her plan ended in a pregnancy (Hagar's) that has continued to cause pain through thousands of generations. I pray for the patience to wait on God.

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  9. This is so great. I see so much in these two women, in me and us women in general. "I've got to have it now" We are so impatient we think if God doesn't come thru in "our time" that He's not going to. This story again shows us the trickle down affects of disobedience to God and how it can impact our descendants. Deuteronomy 19 says “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! ... This again shows the influence that we women have on our husbands. God appointed the man to be the spiritual leader, however look at how we can sway them. Makes me aware of how much more I should be on guard to protect my husband and family. Wow! Again Thank you Rachel and all of you women and the insight you have given me. Lynn

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  10. Correction to my post my Scripture was Deuteronomy 30:19
    Thx Lynn

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  11. Wow... He's an ontime God. I've been praying/believing for someone and each day asked God to help me to stay out of my own way.... 'cause that's just what we do as women when we want something. This is definitely bigger than I am and I find myself from time to time trying to manipulate situations/circumstances but at the end of the day it's going to have to come from God and only in His perfect timing will the impossible take place. It's hard when you carry this soooo heavy in your spirit but you don't see any results yet. But have faith for My God is right on time and He knows what's best for us all.... Be Blessed today and have a perfect day!!!

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  12. Rachel WOW!!! Thank you your insight. I see a this story in a whole new light. I know the areas I struggle with Doubt and choose to surrender all of them to God!!! It gives me hope that he is Faithful even when we are not worthy. God Bless!!! Kim

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  13. May we realize the seriousness of our decisions....that they may even effect nations.....I do not think that Sarah realized what she was doing until it was way too late......I pray that we will seek Him with all of our hearts, taking heed. Nations are warring and will be until the end and we can document when this began...Lord, help us as we make choices and decisions...May we be right in the middle of your plan for our lives....

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  14. Having infertility problems myself, this story brings me mixed emotions. On one hand it gives me hope that I may still have a baby, on the other I don't know if that is God's will for me. He had promised Sara a baby...not me. I don't want to have false hope, or believe a dream I have is from God when it is just my own. I have adopted 2 older choldren from foster care and still want a baby. II tried in vitro a few times but it was unsuccessful...I am not 90 but I am 36 and I see my window of opportunity shrinking.....

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  15. Sorry if this is long winded but you said it is a thought process.

    I always found this so interesting. God gave Abram a GREAT and AMAZING vision with a promise of children. Don't you think he would have shared it with Sarah? How impatient we become with God's promises. If anything in particular it reminds me that God's timing is best. God allows us to jump in front of His timing too though and when we do we can cause a big mess. Like you said those descendants are still fighting to this day.

    Because of Sarah's choice to give Abraham to Hagar and Abraham agreeing they went against what marriage was intended to be that we saw in our last reading in Genesis. "Therefore man will leave his father and mother and the two will become ONE flesh." Customs are customs but not always God's ways or plans.
    They took matters in their own hands anyway and jealousy takes place.

    I love how God sees Hagar, the victim. Also how as hard as it may be she obeys Him. I love too how God also sees Sarah-even when her behavior is not at its best. He comes and visits. What a high privilege in itself! He knows her thoughts (She laughed at what He said in herself). Can you even imagine nursing a baby at her age? Or running after a feisty two year old? I would be laughing my head off too. But she denies it. God knows her thoughts! That must have been an amazing thing to her.

    I just love how God can show Himself strong in ordinary people! Who would have even dreamed of a one hundred year old man having a baby with a 90 year old wife? And it being their first. I love how Sarah remembered her laugh about 9 months before. How often do we say or laugh at the things God shows us then later to find out they are true! He does exceedingly more than we can think or imagine! Oh praise Him.

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  16. This is AMAZING. What an awesome God we serve that He would put this concept into your head and heart so that WE might get something out of it. You are doing a wonderful job. Praise God

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  17. I did it and I can relate to Sarah's impatience. Too often I get caught up in the "troubles of the day" and try to rely on myself to fix, correct, or remedy the problem. I too had infertility issues - tried everything the doctor said to do. AMAZINGLY, GOD gave us our children without the help of doctors. But we had to have FAITH, unwavering and trusting. It was good to read how Sarah struggled with the same things I do. God's plan is definitely BETTER than anything I could come up with.

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  19. This was really awesome. I too, like some of you have a really hard time waiting on God's plan to reveal itself in my life and waiting on the answers that I think I need right now. It is so hard sometimes to "Let Go and Let God", and even when I do let go I sometimes try to take things back. I am learning that I just need to be patient and wait on God's teaching and direction for His plan for my life. Have a wonderful day.......

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  20. I wonder if Sarah's laughter at God's promises the first time was cynical. If so I remember being in her shoes. Thank God He was still faithful. I've also had the joy that Sarah had when God's promises were fulfilled. It's encouraging to see that God's promises are always still there for us inspite of ourselves, mistakes and all.

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  21. Great insight from all of you so far today. Sarah and I are so much alike...just like "plant lady" said and so many others. She wanted to be in control and in the know etc. I think it's interesting how Sarah thought "Wow, God is moving us so that he can provide for us" and when they got there she still couldn't get pregnant. Do you ever have things like that in life? You think...if I just do this well or do what God is asking then I will get what I want...but then you do that and wait and it doesn't happen so then you take it into your own hands and mix it up a bit? So many times in my life I've done this and now that it's all said and done I realize that if I'd just done those things without expecting anything...without taking it into my own hands that maybe the process would not have been so long if I hadn't medaled (excuse my rambling please!)

    Also, I think that there are definitely times when I hear from God and watch things unfold so well and then sometimes I will think of doing something to "help out" and I can feel inside that I know it might not be a good idea and do it anyway and then it all sort of seems to fall apart...but if I realize this and just "allow" God again...He puts it all back together again.

    I believe that I've laughed many times before and not liked to admit it either. Faith is a learning process. Oh yes it is...I'm learning so much everyday that when you rest in Him for everything of everyday..He will continue to bless me...do things "for me". Wow what a wonderful God we serve...

    Until tomorrow!

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  22. Oh how I wish I was reading the Bible almost 20 years ago!! This could have really helped me through all the infertility treatments & such! You see, as soon as I read Sarah's story, I couldn't help but relate...my husband & I could not have children...we tried EVERYTHING for years & years & years!!! It was a very trying time for us & my faith pretty much dissipated much like Sarah's. Well, about 3 years ago, my husband & I made the decision to adopt an amazing little girl from CHina...I was 47 at the time. I think I would have "laughed/doubted" too if someone told me long ago, that at the age of 47 I would become a mom for the very first time to a child under 1 year of age!! Since becoming a mom, I have reconnected with my faith & am in the midst of my own personal, spiritual journey ...which is why I am here! :)

    So, THANK YOU, Rachel, for doing this Bible Study...it is helping me more than you could possibly know!!

    Blessings to you!
    Pat

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  23. I have heard the story of Sarah and Abraham many times, but this time I learned something different.

    The story of Sarah is a reminder that we do have free will, and God can still use our choices for His Story, although there may be some consequences like there was for Sarah and Abraham when they went to Egypt but in the end God used that time and brought them back to where He wanted them. Then again they choose outside of Gods will when Abraham and Hagar were together. There were consequences for their choices but God did not give up, he still blessed them with a child that He promised to them in His perfect timing. He is still there with us and will continue to lead us onto the right path again!

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  24. I to am facing my own "sarah Moment" being somewhat impatient and wanting God to give it to me now, but I know I sit back, refelect onwhat he has given me already- thank him for that and be thankful in advance for what he is going to provide me with and wait on God. as a woman thats tuff, but as a beleiver its do-able. Thank you for this reading....

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  25. Thank you for the insight into this scripture! Wow, I'm reminded again how important it is to "get out of the way" and wait, and allow God to work in His perfect timing. Whether it's praying and waiting for the salvation of friends/neighbors, or a life circumstance where the future is so uncertain. God knows what is best for us and He loves us more than we can comprehend. Help me, Father, to wait on You and trust You and Your plan for me and my family!

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  26. Is anything too hard for God?

    I’ve faced cancer and come out kicking. Getting me through hair loss, chemo and radiation wasn’t too big for God so why does conceiving a child seem like such an impossibility to me? I guess my namesake and I have more in common than I realized. She had a promise from God! And of course God made good on that promise – he had to right – he’s God! This is very timely as I’ve been struggling with fear a lot lately.
    Thanks!

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  27. Wow! What great comments and a residing "theme" of how important it is to wait on God, His timing, and His plan. I find SUCH encouragement to know that many of you have struggled with wanting to "help God" and become impatient with waiting on His time to reveal His plan to us. In the mist of my current trial, I struggle with this SO much...waiting on God and trusting His timing and His plan. I DO know that He knows best but I also know what my heart's desire is and the pain I feel from it not being fulfilled. Though I do not have children and don't necessary yern or desire children, I do have a desire in my heart very much as strong as many of you experience with wanting a child and much like Sarah wanting her child.

    I love how Bethann says that she wants a child and is hopeful for one but that God did not promise her one as He did Sarah. I can so relate to that. God did not promise me a healed marriage but I'm believing Him for one none-the-less.

    I love how the last anonymous said "only in His timing will the impossible take place...it's very hard when we carry it so heavy in our spirit and see no results."

    Amen...God is the God of impossibles and He can and will perform them. One person commented on how sometimes God takes us to a point in which we will have to know it was Him and Him alone...much like Sarah. I too believe this...what better "stage" for God than that of impossible odds as they do lead to amazing miracles that only HE can perform.

    I too see the very curious similiarities in Eve and Sarah...wanting to be "in the know", wanting to "help" God, and hiding from God because of their shame. I never thought of their similiarities before it was brought to my attention in this lesson's blogs.

    I love how one said we attempt to "help" God keep His plan...oh, how that is me...I want to help God in my personal situation and I have to remind myself that He is a mighty God and He by no means needs my help. I think I struggle with this because I do believe He calls us and asks us to do things ourselves...know what I mean? I use the analogy that we can't sit at home eating bon-bons and watching soaps, and then say, okay God I'm waiting on you for a job. So, where is the fine line of what He wants us to do and what He wants us to let go of and He will do?????

    God tells us to believe and not doubt in James 1:6. Yet how wonderful that even when we do doubt, God is still faithful to His promises. Our faith may waver at times but HE NEVER DOES! God is great!

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  28. Many of us are like Sarah. We are impatient and want to help God along. I know many times I put up a prayer telling God that I'm going forward and if He doesn't want me to do it then He needs to stop me. It would be so much easier if I would just "wait on the Lord" and have faith. The lesson I picked up on is that God will fulfill His promises to us in His time and in His way. And when we get impatient and try to push it along we miss out on an awesome blessing.

    I am really enjoying this Bible Study. I am able to take a little time before I start my work day and meditate on God's word. Thanks Rachel. I'm looking forward to each lesson.

    Amy in PA

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  29. My thoughts on God's timing have changed recently. My beloved best friend, my husband, died quite suddenly on December 18th. I have passed through stunned anger to just being stunned sometimes. I have no idea why God allowed this to happen to me, to our 6 children and to our community and church. And I am learning to be OK in not knowing. I doubt that I will ever know "this side of heaven".
    But God does promise to be with us --- through it all. He didn't say He'd help us avoid it, but He'd hold us close while we walk through it.
    And sometimes it's a very, very long dark walk.

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  30. You know, there is the old adage, "God helps those who help themselves." However, it is interesting to note that NO WHERE in the Bible does it say this. Sometimes we "help ourselves" and in the process screw up everything that God has planned for us. Sometimes we try repeatedly to help ourselves and repeatedly fail, yet we continue trying. Why do we do this to ourselves? I do it all the time! I want to learn to wait on God and not try to help. He doesn't need my help!!!!!

    Laura

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  31. I am just joining today and will be playing catch up with my reading. I'm so thankful to God for Rachel being moved to do this. I have been looking for a women's Bible study and haven't found one, this helps me be at home with my two children. Thanks so muuch Rachel, God Bless all of you!

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  32. After reading about Sarah yesterday and reading Rachel's insight this morning I too am reminded of the great blessings God has given me and my husband. We too struggled with infertility. But through adpotion we have been blessed with two beautiful children!

    Awhile back I was struggling with wanting to be pregnant, to experience what most women experience, like my sister who is haveing twins. I am so excited for her, but at the same time I wanted to have that experience too. Do you notice I keep using the word experience. After talking with my husband and with God I finally realized that it wasn't that I wanted another child at this time in my life, it was that I wanted the experience. It's amazing how God works in our lives and helps us find peace. I came out with a peace of remembering I have two wonderful children, a great husband and that I want only God's will in my life, not mine.

    Thank you for this bible study!

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  33. Thank you Rachel for your insight to Sarah. I have read Sarah's story many times and relate to her in so many ways. Her life then is a reflection of my life today, in that there are times in which I allow doubt to over take my faith. It is at those times that I must cling to the knowledge and delve into God's Word.

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  34. The word is so alive..this stories are really opening up to me in a new light..more personal!
    I needed this bible study..thanks again Rachel and all the comments and enlightenment from my sisters!
    He Knows!

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  35. I feel so much like the Sarah from the Bible sometimes. I know God has promised to be faithful to me, but sometimes He feels so far away. My husband and I have not been able to have children. He has Diabetes, and I have PCOS. I know there are other couples in our same situation who have had kids, but I have a hard time believing that God will do it for us. I sometimes "laugh" at the thought of God giving us children. And then I catch myself and beat myself up for a while. I am so thankful for Sarah's story...even though she had times of doubt, God still remained faithful to her. Praise be to our God who sees what is best for us, not what we deserve. I plan to keep serving and keep believing.
    Sarah P

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  36. During my reading the part that stood out the be the most was how Sarah tried to take control and thought she was doing what was right but then it backfired. After this she got really upset and sinned again, notice she never really owned up to her mistakes (not that we know of). Most women (or maybe just me) have a hard time saying I messed up or I made a mistake. I was also wondering whose idea it was to move to Egypt. Who planted that first seed? Could it have been Sharah? Again because something didn't happen when SHE thought it should, she is making her own path. I have to repeat Pro. 3:5-6 over and over in my head to help me remember who is really in control and who I needed to turn to on a daily basis. Another thing I struggle with is I have a condition that could cause me not to get pregnant. I am only 23 and have been married for 2 years. I can relate to Sarah because like me she feels guilty that she can't provide an offspring for her husband. My situation is just a chance that I might not be able to become pregnant, however, I feel that guilt every time I hold me neice or nephew (especially when my husband does). I try not to think about it and I know God has a plan for me even if it is not having children. But it is hard sometimes for me to except this. Anyway, thanks Rachel for this opportunity. I really need it.

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  37. I read it twice since you asigned the reading. I kept on praying for a unique insight. But, feel like nothing show up. Now, I feel like what I'm about to say is too gloomy, but I have to share this. Perhaps, it is the insight God wants us to hear.

    When we "dabble" with God's plan for our lives, we and our children and grand children pay the consequences for many years to come. As a result of Sarah's impatience-she dabbled with God's plan-her decendants ended up paying great dept for her actions: as a result of her actions to creat a son where it was not planned, the Israelites had many enemies which they must conquer for their freedom. Many bloodshed took place before their descendants reached the promised land.

    Okay, it is getting too gloomy. I will not get into it.

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  38. Thanks everyone for your comments. I really learned a lot today.

    My dream was always to be a stay at home wife/mother. I feel like that is the direction God is leading me but please pray for me that if it is god's will and not my own that he will show me.

    When you girls talk about your devotion time, I must admit I am a little bit like Sara (envious) I don't know how to start with a devotion time. I believe that is why god has brought me to this study and to all of you. Please pray for me.

    I learned so much from all of you on our discussion about Eve and now the discussion about Sara. I was very excited to share your insights with my husband and three sons. Thanks everyone especially you Rachael!

    Connie

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  39. I think to be "in the know" and in control is something that I struggle with. I am so glad that God reminds us that He is in Control and He can do all things if we give back the control we think we must have.

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  40. Rachel I loved your take on Sarah and the lessons that we should learn from both Sarah and Haggar. I agree with everyone else, too, that women tend to want to "help" the process along. But I think that it's God that made us that way.

    Think about it. God made Eve as a helper to Adam. Even the first woman was designed to help her man along. The problem that we struggle with today is that we need so desperately to help things along that often we end up doing them by ourselves. And our God, in all of his great wisdom will allow us to do that, even if it's not the right thing for us.

    So, we have to learn from Sarah. Timing is everything. I, personally, struggle with giving God time to work in my life. I read my bible daily, and I am trying to be the Christian woman that he wants me to be, but I am SOOOO impatient.

    I've recently learned that during these times of impatience, if I will turn my face to God and pray that he'll fill me with his spirit, I can put off that impatience. It's still hard, and I still sometimes take matters into my own hands, but I am learning.

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  41. This story of Sarah has really opened my eyes. You are right. We often do things in our time instead of waiting on God to take care of them in His time. This is extremely hard for me. I am going to pray that God will help me to listen to Him more closely and wait on him when I'm feeling impatient. Thanks for this Bible Study...it is GREAT!

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  42. Reading sarah's story revealed exactly the point I am at in my life right now. I can go in the direction she went, not trust God, and make my own "child", but I know God has promised me gifts. I know He is preparing me for the greatest gift of all. I still doubt so much, but I see day by day his grace and love. Even when I doubt and think, no way God is not going to give that to me. I read in His word and I feel his love. I know I'm not the only one that struggles with waiting, and patience, and it's encourageing to see that.

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  43. I did it!! Again! Reading this passage has been so inspirational, I have been asking God (for a long time) to help me find my passion. I seem to have a bunch my husband, children, family, church family but seem to still be missing something inside me. I have started volunteering at the local womens shelter and think I may be on to something there as far as my personal passion. It is great for me to read and learn more about Sarah and how patient, or lack there of she was and try to learn from the lessons she endured. I cried when you pointed out what God had done "for Sarah". It hit home when I put my own name with the "for". I am so blessed! Thank You, Kari

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  46. Like most of the posts before me, I also struggle with the "in the know" syndrom. I have prayed for the Lord to grant me patience only to realize after some self inflicted disaster because of meddling that I had added the tag onto the prayer "BUT GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW"!!!:)God gave me children, but in my haste to be the total woman (wife and mother) I didn't wait or have the faith that the Lord really did have a partner for me. The one that "I" chose was an abusive non believer that I ended up divorcing. But again the Lord is faithful and loving and compassionate. He has used "my" decisions to grow me. Praise God!!!He has given me a wonderful man (but he is still a man) and it hasn't been easy especially when our vision has a tendency to be horizontal instead of vertical!!!
    I am awe struck that He doesn't give up on me as I continue to do the "I" thing instead of the "He" thing!!! It is amazing to realize that that I am just like Sara and Eve...God grant me the wisdom to be patient and help me to grow in your faith. God Bless!!

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  47. Good Stuff!

    To Plant Lady: yesterday I looked up "afraid" in the the original language and read a lexical aide on it and it mentioned something interesting: "an emotional and intellectual anticipation of harm or danger; the sense of dread." I wonder if she was afraid of the consequences of her laughing at God...from what Rachel said, her unbelief in God's ability to do what He had promised. Just a thought.

    I saw something a little different yesterday as I was reading (because I had just had a bout with willful sin). I found it interesting that when "the LORD", confronted Sarah on her laughing, she looked Him square in the face and lied. She willfully sinned. I am faced with the realization that I am not beyond doing the same thing. Do you ever do something even though you know you shouldn't? Me too! In my conviction and guilt, though, God reminded me that in the midst of her mistakes, the LORD was gracious to Sarah. Thank you, LORD, that your mercies are new every morning. I have been reminded that I am desperately in need of them.

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  48. First of all, I was not aware of the brother/sister part of the story. How interesting, to think something as horrible as that would be part of God's plan.
    Sometimes I feel the same way, "how can anything good come out of something so hard and dark?" But I quickly learn the truth. If I am working towards God's plan He is always faithful and ON TIME.
    I would of have the same reaction as Sara. Yeah right, how could I have a child this late in life? Ohhh, but we serve a BIG God!
    Great story about faith, hope and LOVE.
    Thank you!

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  49. After reading this and contemplating it, I feel so inadequate in my faith. Sometimes I don't allow God to work in me and I take things into my own hands. I guess that is me being impatient. I am definitely that! I want to put my problems into God's hands and let him take over my life. Sometimes I feel like I just don't want to give that control over even though I know it is necessary to grow in Him. That is my fervent prayer, to let go so that God can take over my life. Thank you Rachel for your thoughts on Sarah. That was awesome.

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  50. Rachel and all the other sisters.
    You all do not know how much proverbs 31 has helped me over the years, it has help me desire and has encouraged me, as much as I would listen. The last two studies have showed me that women are different. We are VERY different. I say that b/c I am a 22 year old wife and mother of a 1 and 2 year old. It is so hard some time combing the four a babe in christ, a young women, wife and mother. IT GETS ROUGH. I have managed to "keep going" in spite of but, I know the the feeling that Sarah had all too well. I am still "laughing to my self right know. See when GOd said he would give us "the nations" ( a happy and healthy marriage0 I could not wait, it did not go very well at frist so I took it into my own hands ( giving hm Hagar), I left him and moved back to CA. ith my Family. YEs, GOd is fatihful and has been providing for us, but we have soo many spitiual struggles b/c we moved from the place God wanted us.So we are trying to get back there.

    Anyway (thanks for listening), I am glad to know that in the end was still Faithful and did for Sarah. So i'll do my part and have the faith i need.

    PLEASE PRAY FOR THE BOGGAN FAMILY, I REALLY WANT TO BE THE WOMEN GOD WILL BE PLEASED WITH.

    THANKS,
    BE BLESSED DJ

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  51. Wow, Rachel, you've reminded me to continue faithfully... I'm still assured that I'm in the right place, and must continue to trust the Lord to show me what's required of me.
    If Sarah could do it so long ago, then in the name of the Lord, so can I today.
    The Spirit of the Lord is so powerful that the tears are flowing at my office desk. Thank goodness, it's the end of our day in this part of the world, so I can read, pray and respond without too much hassle or disruption.
    I, and I hope some others posting who face bleak situations, can renew our trust in God and seek the joy and laughter which He desires to provide for us.

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  52. I, too, saw similarities between Eve and Sarah - placing blame, wanting to take control, impatient. This is the way of our sinful nature, which is why we are able to apply the Bible of 2,000 yrs ago with our lives today. That is definitely a God-thing when we see ourselves in these women! God is speaking... are we listening?

    Despite reading about Sarah, these three points caught my attention.

    Hagar ran away. Hagar didn't like what was happening in her life, so she ran away. Aren't we like that? Don't we try to "run" from our problems? Yet God told Hagar to go back and face her problems. I don't like confrontation, so my tendency is to avoid someone who hurts me. I continue to carry the grudge and the pain of being betrayed... and the problem is still there. God wants me to deal with the problem - get it behind me, so I can move on. He's not asking us (or Hagar) to do it alone, He'll be right there with us.

    The Lord appeared again. When we think we've really screwed up, our God is a God of second chances. It's obvious that Sarah & Abraham made a mess of the situation - and they knew it! Yet, I believe they did have repentent hearts before God, and continued to trust in His provisions - by faith. Between Chapter 16 and 17, the Lord appeared AGAIN, but this time Sarai became Sarah, and Abram became Abraham. By faith... they are new creations in God's new covenant - see the similarity? By faith, we are a new creation in Christ!

    God took Sarah's laugh (doubt) and turned it into good (faith). He kept His word and did exactly as He promised. Isaac means "he laughs"... don't you love God's sense of humor?

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  53. God is so great. I love the story of Sarah. It helps me to realize that even if I stray away, God will still always be there to provide for me. I am praying that I will not lose faith as Sarah did. I want to be all that God wants me to be.

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  54. Genesis 18:14 it says "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" Well, the answer of course is NO! But I do limit Him in my own mind and actions. Then we see in chapter 21 that God DID keep His promise...imagine that!

    The other thing I really noticed was consequences. Even though, Sarah did have Issac and Abraham did become the father of many...there still are the consequences to their disobedience...their taking things into their own hands. AND we are still "paying" for many of those choices today!

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  55. This gathering is really great. I am so glad you started this reading together. Sarah... wow, she is so much like us today. Yes, Rachel, we like to take control, I'm bad about that, and I pray God to let me, let go and Let God go!!!
    Carol D.

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  56. wow, I have more in common with Sarah than I realized. I too moved based on what I thought would be good for me at a time where the money would be potenially much less than the little I was already making...what a disaster that turned out to be! I didn't pray about it or listen to God, I just decided I was going to make the provisions for my family. But God still stayed faithful, I was able to get out of some serious debt. I have since learned to pray about things and live in (laughter) faith better. Laughter is a good term, because sometimes I am so at peace with decisions I make that I can't help but laugh because an outsider looking in would think I am crazy.

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  58. When I first read these passages I thought how mean is this woman. But I also remembered another study of her and also realized she was incredibly strong. Hey, honey...lets pick up and move all our stuff...yeah...I would do that without question...NOT!

    I have this feeling I"m going to say this for each and every woman and that is...I see some of my own actions in her. I'm with some of these other fine ladies in the fact that I feel like I need to take stuff into my own hands because it just isn't happening fast enough.

    God's refining fire is really working on me just as it did with Sarah!

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  59. Thanks everyone, great insights! God's timing is perfect an women seem to think they know better than God, as seen with both Eve and Sarah. One of the first things that struck me was 'Why didn't Abraham protect Sarah? Why didn't Adam protect Eve?' I think part of it is we (women) are very convincing and men give in rather than standing in the position of leadership and we so eagerly grab for that position. If we truly trusted God and the leaders He has given us, our husbands, we would be where He wants us to be. But again, God is faithful,and loves us even when we are willfully disobedient and wants to do "for us". Thank you Lord!

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  60. This was such an ecouragement to wait on God's time! Rencently, my oldest sister married, and now my identical twin is engaged! This is very exciting, but at times I feel left out and lonely. I sometimes feel like God doesn't have anyone for me or I won't be taken care of in the future. But God is so good and this encouraged me to not be down, but just keep being faithful because it's all in God's time and is best in His time!

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  61. God keeps His promises. God is Holy, He cannot lie. However, we can prolong the blessing of His promises by not obeying Him.

    That is really hard for us, girls! We are the caretakers, the ones in control, the accountable ones...in our mind's eye. We just think we are these things. Truly, God is our caretaker, He is in control, we are accountable to Him only--as long as we are doing what He wants us to do, we don't have to concern ourselves with what other people think.

    God promised Sarah a child and no matter how much she messed up, He followed through on His word. God does not love us conditionally. He did not tell Sarah she would bear a son IF...Yet, He gave her and Abraham free will. They took matters into their own hands, which prolonged the blessing of God's promise and caused generations of fighting between two people groups. I can definitely see how my disobedience in the past has caused prolonged grief in my life.

    I am so grateful for this lesson at this time in my life. God has perfect timing, and He knew I needed to hear this. I feel God's calling to a specific ministry, but He is still in the process of preparing me for that ministry. How I would love to dive in head first, but He is whispering in my ear, "Not yet." I must follow His lead on this--He will present me with the opportunity to do this ministry on His time, which is the perfect time.

    What a blessing this study is! Thank you!

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  62. i have some egypt and hagars in ma life its good its coming up now so i can reflect some knowing God still loves me and will keep his promise despite taking things in ma hands.by..claire

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  63. This is a wonderful study. I think Sarah's lack of complete faith in God scared her. Doubting God's ability to fulfill his promises is frightening. This story is comforting to me because it shows God will still fulfill his promises in spite of our doubt.

    I have struggled with stress about money. Several sources, including my patient husband, revealed it was a lack of faith on my part. I worried about how I was going to do it or what WE needed to do, instead of trusting God to make a way. It has made such a difference to let go of trying to control it all. I am seeing God provide what me need. I still don't know how it will all happen, but I do know God will make it happen.

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  64. Thank you so much Rachel!! This bible study has been an answered pray for me, I too am struggling with infertility. I have tried everything "my way" and I think God definitely lead me to this bible study to not only open up his word, but to see that I am not alone in my trial. Thank you again to Rachel and everyone for their comments! God Bless..

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  65. This same thing happened to me except I didn't laugh but I thought what God promised wasn't going to happen because it was taking so long. And sure enough as He always does, He kept his promise.

    In reading Sarah, it made we wonder if she had doubt or did she really have fear. In thinking about my own situation, it was more fear and doubt in myself so a little of both.

    And then I think its definitely about His will and not ours. Very thought provoking.

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  66. I wish I had time to read all of these posts--but God has spoken to me through the ones I have read--

    plantlady's comment hit my nail (or should I say ME) on the head! I want God to give me an answer to my situation now, or at least let me in on what the future holds. The internet has spoiled me--if I want to know something, I get to googling. But there is no search engine w/ God! I have to learn to be patient.

    I am in a situation w/ my husband right now--he made a rash decision without waiting on God, and quit his job. We have bills looming over our heads--utilities and such. I know, that in spite of the decision my H has made, God is in control, and I have to wait on him to take care of our family. This is a tough situation for me, and I think when I get done w/ this, I'm going to get down on my knees and confess my impatience and need for control to God.

    Wow--this Bible study is going to be AWESOME!

    God bless you, Rachel--and all who have blessed me by contributing!

    ♥Susan

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  67. Wow! What great reflections you all have had. Thank you Rachel for investing your time into this and for giving us some wonderful thoughts to mediate on. Like many have mentioned, I too struggle with waiting on God's timing. It seems much too long and I def. do not understand why I must wait for so many things. but then I remember the verse about how the Lord's thoughts are not our thoughts neither are his ways our ways. this brings me peace b/c through faith I am trusting that He is working behind the scenes on my behalf to bring the answers I've waited on.

    Doubt is something I regularly struggle with as well. I question whether or not I am praying for His will. This questioning/doubt intensifies when my prayers remain unanswered. If my requests remain unanswered for a long period of time, I wonder how can I be sure they will ever be fulfilled?

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  68. Sarah's story is not much different today for couple who want a child. I've read this story quite a few times and it has taken on a new meaning when you do the word substitution. Thanks Rachel.

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  69. I have had many dreams in life. I was going to be a mother...never happened, but had many children that I mothered. I was going to be a nurse, never happened...but I have cared for grandparents, parents and now have my mother-in-law living with me caring for her during sickness..I have nursed many, and my greatest ambition is to serve God and become a Bible Study teach in womans ministry and write books....Has not happened but even in my old age I never doubt that it will if it is God's will in His time. I praise Him for my life and though there were years I like Sara doubted He would grant me the things I desired I have now come to an age where I know all things are possible through Him. I am still working toward my goals seeking His wisdom and guideance to see me through.
    Bonnie m

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  70. My husband and I decided to move and start over in another state. After we moved my husband decided he didn't know what he wanted to do and became depressed and did not look diligently for work. We waisted so much time apart for school and money and now we are in debt. He has now decided to stay in his field, but I wonder if it is too late. After reading this I see how I had my hand in pushing us into this situation as well, instead of waiting, instead I paying attention to my husbands responses. I wondered how I was going to get over the betrayal i felt towards him, how could he do this. BUT the Lord has opened my eyes to my side of this deal. NOW I MUST GO AND APOLOGIZE to my BELOVED HUSBAND and to MY BELOVED FATHER in HEAVEN. Thanks for your posts so I could face the truth of my actions as well. I see now to that God's will is never too late.

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  71. Bethann, I had a cousin who adopted because she couldn't have children. After adopting a baby girl, they later gave birth to a child of their own. I dont know if they gave up after adopting or continued to ask God for their biological child, but we know from Sarah's story that God's Will never fail.

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  72. I think that Sarah "laughed" (doubted) because she had her thought of how and when things should have happened for her. Like Sarah, I am quilty of sometimes putting God in a "box". This is a good reminder to me to not limit God's work in my life to ways (and times) that I think are best but rather to EXPECT God to show up in HIS way and in HIS timing. I'm also grateful for the reminder that even when we take things into our own hands that God still loves us! He also is oh-so-good at using our "missteps" to teach us (and others) life lessons.

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  73. Sarah's story gives me hope that it is not to late for me either to have children. I was given by God a love for babies and children. As time passed in my life and I couldn't find a husband and have children I like Sarah gave up on God and his promises. Then when I hit my lowest point 4 years ago is when God brought my mate into my life. Both of us had hit our bottom. It is at that point, that God brought us together and by God's grace we recognized it.We have been in a wonderful relationship since despite being separated by a thousand miles and the fences of a prison. My fiance is doing time for a mistake he committed. We only have one more year until he is released and marry. At that time,I will be almost 41 years old. I had given up all hope of ever having a child of my own. Now with this story I too can believe that God will still make me a mother as am already the loving mate to a man who cherishes me. Those are the 2 biggest dreams I have had for my life and i trust God that he will make the second part come true just as he did the dream of a fulfilling marriage. But I have had to and still am learning to wait on God's timing. Like many women it seems I have not waited and only made a big mess of things.

    So now I will do as God has commanded me in that we in our marriage are to use nothing in the form of birth control. Instead I know, we are to leave the decision of us being parents to him and I do believe he will decide in my favor and bless me with the child I have always wanted.

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  74. Teresa J - TennesseeMarch 12, 2008

    Rachel,
    I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to you for hosting this study. I, like so many others, have struggled with my Bible reading. To add to that, I'm not a particular kind of person that I can read between the lines or I'm not creative enough to view different sides to a certain story. I'm so blessed by the insightfullness of you and the readers that I actually look so forward to the daily reading and study!! I haven't felt that for a long time!! Thank You so much for this renewed zest for knowledge!! Can we possibly do another study after this one?

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  75. This is great! Thanks for the opportunity to think about it myself,then read your thoughts, then everybody else's thoughts. It surely brings new prespectives!

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  76. I love this women's Bible study. Thanks, Rachel, for setting it up!!

    As I continued reading my regular Bible reading (Judges 17-21) today verses 17:6b and 21:25b stood out "all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes". I couldn't help thinking about Eve and Sarah and how they, too, did what was right "in their own eyes"--what they thought was for their benefit.

    Oh, how I too have to fight "doing my own thing" and instead be obedient to God's clear leading in his Word!!

    In pondering this I know that if I truly loved the Lord with ALL my heart, soul and mind (as Deut. 6:5 commands) I wouldn't be so quick to disobey him (and live with whatever inevitable consequences come with that disobedience!).

    Thanks, Rachel, for making me think rather than just READ the Word.

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  77. We have an Amazing God! I'm so thankful that with God all things are possible to him that believeth. I know, it's hard to wait patiencely. But, God's timing is not our timing, and I have to remember that!God knows when it is best, even tho we want it right now.

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  78. Rachel,
    thank you opening a whole new door on Sarah. I will have to go back and reread before our reading assignment of her.

    I guess what struck me was how Sarah took matters into her own hands. She didn't have patience and then she turned around and was unkind to Hagar. I remember many times I have not been patient to wait for God's timing and then I got in a mess. Thankfully God led me through it and helped me see that I need to be patient. It is something I continue to have to work on.

    This is so interesting seeing everyone's thoughts.

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  79. I've read through the posts since this morning and WOW...what a blessing...to hear that so many women struggle with patience, waiting on the Lord, wanting answers now...it just brings SO much comfort to me. I've found insight through these posts that I haven't found with even the closest of friends. We've really opened our hearts in this study and applied His Word to our lives and shared that with others...what a blessing. I agree that the old addage of "God helps those who help themselves" is not Biblical and not from God's Word but again I struggle with the fine line of when/what He wants me to do to step out in faith...I guess it's not a matter of Him helping me if I help myself but rather, trying to desyfer when He's calling me to action and when He's calling me to be still. Anyone else struggle with this? Every time I try to reach my husband (well ex legally), I stop and think I know God doesn't need me to try to communicate with him but is "this" email that I want to send him part of His plan...does He want me to share this insight with him also?

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  80. First i would like to say thank you for this bible study, i thouroughly needed it in my life.
    Secondly, God is so merciful. No matter what we did in our past through laughter(doubt), or through not knowing, God always has a way of making things right and He did in my life.
    Thirdly, this is a very good story for all the teenagers right now, including mine. Like me i chose to have a child (more like 3) out of wedlock. I did not wait on God's timing, like Sarah, and after all that i went through in my life God was still there, carrying me, and blessing me, and just loving me. I guess the message for the teenagers today is that no matter what you think you know right now, being impatient with what you want, you need to learn to Trust God don't laugh(doubt) at Him. Young ladies, don't be a Sarah and laugh at God, being impatient and deceive other men into being someone that you are not and don't become a Hagar, being forced into something that you are truely not ready for, like Sarah forced Hagar to do. Although Sarah made Hagar sleep with her husband Hagar could have said no, God gave her the will to do so. Maybe in the Old Testament they may have not been able to disagree or disobey their masters, but we are not living in the Old Testament today. You can and do have a will to say NO, I will not do this because it is wrong. Wait on God, have faith that He knows you and what your future holds.
    This is a great story for the Youth in the church. Thank you.

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  81. What an amazing unconditional Love that God gave to Sarah.

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  82. God's plan was still carried out-despite Sarah's actions. God's plan will still be carried out in me-despite those times I act on my own. What a wonderful God we serve that He can take us and mold our twisted life into His plan. Of course, it is my desire, like Sarah's to fully follow Him-see Him in everything, to live in His joy. We are nit that different from Sarah or Eve for that matter, are we?
    In His Graces~Pamela

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  83. Thank you ladies for your your insight and sharing of yourselves. I am so grateful for this study. I see so much of myself in Sarah, trying to be in control of everything, rather then let God. I realize how important it is to WAIT ON THE LORD and to TRUST that he will meet my needs, and KEEP HIS PROMISES.

    What a vicious cycle when I disobey God: I fail to trust him (laugh/doubt him), try to do things my own way(I am so stubborn), realize that I've messed up and it's too late to turn back, then suffer guilt, shame, and difficult consequences of my mistake. I really hate that, and I don't want to do things my way anymore.

    Despite all of sarah's doubting, lying, and taking matters into her own hands, God STILL kept his promise...amazing.

    I pray that I will be able to continue to put this into practice and not try to "help" God and sabotage his plans for me. I pray that My faith in Him and my patience will grow stronger.

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  84. Thank you so much for this study!

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  85. Wow, is all I can say. Your question Rachel, Is there some Egypt" or "Hagar" in my life ...some area where I'm not trusting God's provision has me really pondering. That is exactly what i need TODAY. God is so good to us and to me. God's timing is NOT our timing and I am in a place right now where I really can't take control and make things happen and it is a very hard place to be in. I KNOW without a doubt that He has something wonderful in store for us and He is and has gone ahead of us. He is in the details, ladies, believe me He is in the details of our lives. Step back and see if He's not in the details of your life, just as He was in the details of Sarah's life. We forfeit our peace when we worry and doubt His word...He always comes thru when it's His time....Your insight and the others is very rewarding. Bless you for obeying and doing this.

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  86. Wow....what a revelation! I have always been impatient and for almost two years now I have prayed for more patience. I was told at 19 I could no longer have children after I was blessed with my first daughter and for years I prayed for another child. God sent my step-daughter into my life at her birth, but I didn't recognize the blessing, It wasn't until she came to live with us that God began working patience in me. It wasn't until TODAY that I understood she was my added child. Wow! God blessed me two-fold because throughher I have learned patience...Glory to God! The young lady was so right that talked about our influence over our husbands. We do have strong influence, but we must remember we are the help meet and our husbands are the head. Had I not rebelled against my husband so much concerning my stepdaughter in the past, we'd all would have been better off. My, my, my God is something else!!!!

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  87. Well since my google doesn't always seem to work..I hope this does...I have been in tears reading this entry from you and Genesis. The Lord has been showing me scriptures all week about faith and I can't run from them anymore. I have not been trusting the Lord for any provisions. My husband is disabled and it's getting worse. He lays around and does nothing, hes not the man I married. I cry daily! But God has shown me that I must rely on Him to be my husband and provider. If I do He will heal me in this relationship, He will provide where Mike can no longer. I guess I have lost faith because I was a single Mom over 18 years ago and I never thought it would happen again. So there is anger as well as not trusting. But when you siad to reflect on "has God given you a promise or dream that I've given up on" Well I laughed there! I was given a propetic word twice about me from 2 different people at 2 different times. They both said the generational curses are broken and the little girl that is lost in the woods has been found...because Jesus has been peeling my heart back like an onion being peeled. He wants to get to the coor and when that happens I am healed...I just had to stop to cry just thinking about this from the past! I have given up on this and I can't, I was that little girl and I am no longer lost to the Lord nor to my self :) Praise God!
    Now you can see why this meant so much to me. Thank you for coming into my life through this Bible Study!
    Donna M.

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  88. What a blessing to be able to learn of others that have the same problems. That means I am human like the rest and so thankful that GOD forgives and prise HIM HE forgets too,

    I have had much on obeying lately, With my husband forth time on this cancer I have had to push to do more then I usually do and try to do it without complaint because he has been through so much in the past 16 years.

    I ofter have to pray LORD help me not be grumpy while he is having such a hard time. I tend to get angry when people around me are sick and want them well right now and it does not happen that way with cancer.

    Thank GOD He renews my laughter (Faith) everyday.

    GOD Bless you all
    Elizabeth

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  89. I enjoyed reading your comments Sometimes I can relate to Sarah you do things your own way and don't wait for God and they backfire and its hard to admit your wrong but you have to remember that God loves you and he is always there even when we mess things up by doing them our way.
    Thanks so much for your insight

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  90. Good morning ladies!!

    I got this from a lady from church..."The word impossible, when God is in the situation, spells I M POSSIBLE, so always beleive Gods word."
    I thought that was so great when I read it and just wanted to share it with all of you!!

    I am really enjoying my time here with all of you!! Have a great day and talk to you all tomorrow!!

    Blessings,
    Kathy

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  91. This account should always make us know that God's delay doesn't mean God's denial.We should just trust in God's timing. He knows best!

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  92. I don't know how many times I have read this before but it finally struck me how important it is that we/I need to wait on the Lord for his timing no matter how long it takes. His ways will always be better than mine. Nothing is impossible when it comes to God. He is always faithful to fulfill his promises to us. Thank you, Thank you Rachel for doing this study. I am learning so much from everyone. I pray that there will be others after this is done. This has been such a blessing. I don't know where I could find a bible study to compare to this one.

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  93. Thank you so much for doing this. I've read Sarah's story many times, but this is the first time I noticed the "for Sarah". What an amazing God we have that He still fulfills our hopes and dreams even when we are not faithful. I need to remember that and to rest in His love and wait patiently for HIS time.

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  94. You know, I've read this story and heard this story many many times, but never did I see Sarah as negatively as I did this time around.

    But at the same time, I saw much of myself in her. I act like this all the time and yet I am still so richly blessed. I want things done on my own schedule and no one else's. I don't want to wait for this or that, I want it now.

    It's nice to see over and over again that God keeps His promises, even when we do not do as we should.

    I have such a problem with patience, or the lack there of in my case. I've prayed for patience many many times, but then when a trial pops up that tests that very thing for which I prayed, I grow angry and upset at how slow things seem to move.

    I learned quite a bit from these passages, as noted above, and I hope and pray that I can start applying what I've learned to my walk with Christ.

    I do doubt God, often and I need to learn to trust others and not just myself. I don't have all the answers but, like Sarah, I still try to come up with all of the solutions. God knows, not I. I need to trust that He has the best in mind for me, His child.

    On a side note, it's amazing to see just how Satan works in one's life. I was so excited (read: still so) about this daily Bible study and I marked a time off on my calendar each day to spend with God, then guess what happened? Monday afternoon my husband and in-laws invited me to go see a movie with them, to which I agreed. I only had a short time once I got home from work to get to dinner and the movie and then a short time once I got home, and I never even thought about the study. It's scary to see just *who* he will innocently use to keep you from God.

    I will be here from now on though!

    Thanks Rachel!!

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  95. I'm in trial that I know can only be altered by the hand of God. I believe from the beginning of this trial I was given a promise; however I see this situation with my physical eyes and judge it's progress.

    Sarah's story reminds me that I have to see this situation with the "eyes of my heart" and have FAITH to believe God is going to bring to pass the promise he's given me.... In His Time!

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  96. Well-time lost me yesterday and I forgot the 2nd day of this wonderful study. I went back today and read the verses regarding Sarah and realized something interesting. I am both like Eve and Sarah right now. Like Eve-I know that God has my best interests in His plans, but sometimes, like the past few months, it doesn't feel like it and, like Sarah, I feel like I need to be in control in when I know that God's timing is perfect-I just have to be patient and wait on Him!!! There is a HUGE area of my life right now that I feel is my "Hagar"--as hard as I feel like I'm trying, I'm not fully trusting Him to fix it!! I pray that God would allow me to release control, COMPLETELY trust Him and BE PATIENT!

    I praise God for sending this Bible Study and for giving Rachel an open heart and mind to commit to helping us through this! Thank you for this Bible Study!

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  97. i have been wanting to study the Bible more intensely. i really believe this study is going to help me. my goal in life is to get closer to God each and every day. in 1995 God healed me from terminal inoperable lung cancer i am cancer-free today 12 years later. if any of you are dealing with cancer drop me a line at animalsgodblue@yahoo.com. i want to be your friend and encourage you. our God is an AWESOME God!

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  98. Hello again! I have been reminded of a scripture after hearing and feeling all the comfort being offered here today as we discuss Sarah(and ourselves). I heard this a few days ago on the radio at a time when I really needed some encouragement. God knows just WHAT we need and WHEN! The scripture is 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.

    Hope this will strengthen and encourage you all as it did me.

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  99. I have to say this has given me a lot to think about! I didn't read until Tues. and it would've gone better for me if I had read on Mon! I have in my own selfishness and doubt, fear etc. acted rashly and wounded deeply the one person in this world I care most about, my husband. I now wonder if my actions will also have long reaching consequences wounding others like Sarah did with Hagar. I must say my first thoughts went to Hagar. In her dark hour God presented HImself as the one who sees her! Have you ever felt invisible to those you hold dearest? No matter where you are our God SEES YOU! In all your flawed, humaness God does not turn his face, but looks at you with utter care and love. He loved Hagar enough to tell her the truth. That is an awesome thing. He also loved Sarah enough to bring about His promises regardless of her sin, doubt, fear, manipulations etc. I don't know about you, but that sounds a lot like me sometimes! I am praying even now that God will bring about good even though I have sinned. Thank you so much for making this possible! I have never done this before, and I must say before I go that on Sun I was depressed and bemoaning the lack of Bible studies available to me and then this GOd given gift of a blog was made known to me. I didn't even know such things were possible! Thank you Lord for your provisions! I'm praying for all of you. :)

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  100. You know what, it really isn't until you hear a story through "someone else's eyes" that you can perspective. I remember the story of Sarah since I was a little girl, however it isn't today that Sarah was a woman of God who clearly understood she had promise,yet she doubted the "fruition" of the process. As a young woman, I can relate to Sarah and I amazed that I never thought about this until now. Thank you Rachel for your continued encouragment. Be Blessed!

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  101. Yes I am another that keeps forgetting that it is not me but Christ that can do all things. I know I have read this a couple of times and have never recieved what I did yesterday, and after reading your input, it sure has opened my eyes---my heart at myself. I now am looking at myself differently but i also saw where the lord is already been working on me over this and i just didn't recognize it till yesterday. Rachael it is because of you starting this here, I THANK YOU FROM MY HEART....I have been wanting this so much at my church but just can't seem to get the woman involved like this.
    thanks again god bless u all looking for more & more & more!
    Love u all
    sharon

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  102. Thanks Rachel for your thoughts on Sarah's story. It is refreshing to reflect on how God makes all things beautiful in His time. Also, what about today's bible reading? I didn't see the link at the conclusion of your thoughts on Sarah's story. Thanks, Theresa

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  103. I have read most of the comments and I still have catching up to do.

    I must say that one of Rachel's points has really stuck with me. GOD DID FOR SARAH! He cared about her desires and not just His plans.

    Although she laughed (doubted; God in His faithfulness He still cared about Sarah, so much so that He did for her! It really melts me down to think that God thinks that much of me as well.

    He cares about my infirmities, my desires. I hear all of you dear women who are trusting God for children and He hears your plea. He knows your hearts desire and He will do it for you just like He did for Sarah.

    God has given me a dream that I've spoken doubt to, I laughed and I realize now that I have not trusted his provisions for me and my family. Because I know He needs my help to work things out right? So I had to help Him out and in the process made a mess of things! And God is yet making all the provisions I need through this Bible Study! Building my faith!

    Thanks Rachel! For allowing God to use you.

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  104. Is it just me or is it like all of us to give up on God when we don't see out dreams come into fulfilment? Maybe it is middle age, seeing life half over; when I was young and first married, I think I had more faith and more patience to wait on God. Now that I am older, well...I think need more of the right kind of laughter in my life. I need to laugh at the limitations of the future ahead of me. Has God been unfaithful? No. Is there some promise he is holding out on. No.

    Any of you middle aged out there, like me. Let's unite and have an all-out, faith-filled belly laugh at the future. God has been good!

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  105. I was so thankful and surprised about this reading. I have been struggling for about three years with a problem in my family and I it seems like one thing is happening after another as far as medical things going on. I remember asking my boyfriend a few months after my grandfather died (it will be a year the Sat before Easter) how much longer I have to hold on before I am rescued out of all this anxiety and heartache. He told me that I needed to hold on a little longer and trust that God has my best interest in mind and in HIS time I will be rescued. I have been struggling greatly with depression this month as Easter is approaching, you see my two papas are the closest thing to a father that I know and I have been helping taking care of him and it is so hard. God used this passage and the thoughts here to show me that He has not left me and that the time is coming for Him to work in my needs.

    I also want to comment on what Plant Lady said with "----the need to be in control, in the know, fear --all of which can be covered by the Blood!" As I have gone through the study with Eve and Sarah I find that I myself am guilty of the things these ladies were guilty of. I have heard it said before that men are the mind of Christ but women are his heart. We are suppose to be the nuturers and encouragers for the people we come in contact with but so often we let sin like; gossiping, wanting to be in the know, being impatient and so on to take away from the way we were made to be. I pray that God will convict me each and every time that I abuse my responsibilities as woman to better myself instead of bettering His kingdom

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  106. I agreed with your insight.

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  107. I have read the story of Sarah many times but yesterday as I was reading I was really struck with something new. I realized that all this time I have read these passages and looked down on Sarah when in reality I am more like Sarah then I care to admit. As I read Sarah's story I was reminded of all the doubt that I experience when God does not answer my prayers within "MY" time frame. Despite my groanings and lack of faith God always remains faithful to me just as He was faithful to sorry. How awesome is God!!!!

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  109. I feel like we could spend 6 weeks just on Sarah, and poor ol' Hagar, too!

    Something that always strikes me about Sarah is just how much God seems to use people in their weakness. Think about it, He only fulfilled His promise of a child when Sarah was past the age of bearing children. She was weak in her physical ability to bear a child, but God's strength and power were evident BECAUSE of her weakness. If Isaac had arrived when Sarah was 32, do you think we would be so in awe of His promise being fulfilled?

    It is so encouraging, because I, like Sarah, have laughed at God, in my mind and in my actions at different points in my life. But that doesn't disqualify me from being used to display HIS power and glory. Amen!

    Thank you to all of you sisters who have responded. Your openness and vulnerability are encouraging to me. So many people hide their pain and struggles, but I need to be reminded that there are hurting people out there, people who need truth and encouragement.

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  110. Did Sarah was just tired of waiting? I am soooo tired of waiting. I imagine God has plenty for me to do in the mean time, but I can't seem to get the focus off of this one thing. I'm guessing that by the time Sarah had the baby, she was over the wishful thinking, the daydreaming. Besides being too old, I imagine she lauged because she had given up. I wonder if I finally get to the point where I don't care so much about the outcome, will God give me an answer? Maybe when I get my focus back on Him and off of the waiting?

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  111. This passage just reminded of God's faithfulness. His promises will always come to pass regardless of what may come my way. He is such a Great God!

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  112. What a great way to look at Sarah! I never thought about it like that before. I KNOW for certain that I struggle with impatience and relying on God to bring His plans full circle in my life. I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroad in my own life, and perhaps it's because I put myself there. I must remember that God is NOT the author of confusion, so if I am confused then it might just be because I'm not trusting God enough. This story is a wonderful illustration of how taking situations out of God's hands can be costly in our lives. I hope that I can learn from Sarah today and trust Jesus to give me ONLY the best for me. :)

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  113. Sarah expressed many emotions, which I feel God created especially in women, and helps define who we are and separates us from men. However, when we let our emotions control us, we’re probably not relying on God! Sarah expressed frustration at being unable to have a child, so she gave Hagar to her husband; anger that Hagar had contempt for her when she found out that she had conceived, so she sent Hagar away; denial, through her laughter at having a child in her old age; and then she lied about laughing. The story so aptly displays, how when we take matters into our own hands, we can really “mess” everything up! God has His perfect timing and wants us to be patient and totally wait upon Him. I can certainly relate to this story...I so often want to take control and make things happen “NOW”, when God, in His infinite wisdom, clearly has everything under control and needs me just to listen and wait upon Him! However, God also shows us in this story how He forgives us and can make something beautiful in spite of our sins! How Sarah must have rejoiced when she held Isaac for the first time! God Bless you, Rachel, for this study of the women in the Bible. I so want to learn from all the insights of these precious women who have joined!

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  114. I have wanted to spend more time with reading the Word and I have never thought of what I could possible have in common with our sisters from the Bible. However, I see from the 2 women that we have read about that it is something in the makeup of a woman that we tend to rush God or become impatient. I too have dreams that I have forgotten about because I am busy with my day-to-day. If I slow down pray and WAIT for a Word from the Lord, how much better would my life be? I doubt what I can become in God so much, because it seems like I am just a mess and I'll never get it together. Well, it's good to see that I may be right and I may never get it together, but God still fufills his end even when we are not faithful. And also,that my unfaithfulness may lead to the Life Lesson that I need to learn. I am grateful for P31 and thus now Rachel too. God Bless

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  115. I've read this story many times, but I still have learned something new. It's amazing to me how God worked around their sinfulness and unfaithfulness and still kept his promise to Abraham and Sarah. God could have gave up on them but he didn't. Also I see how I don't wait on God's plan all the time and I try to make things happen myself. It is so reassuring that God forgives me through his son Jesus and works things out for my good in his time.

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  116. Great insight...God has given me some dreams that I have given up on...but, with renewed faith and purpose I can rekindle the fire....thank you, grace and peace....I'm reminded that His timing is always perfect!

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  117. I am so excited about learning more about the women in the Bible. I have always liked reading Sarah's story and have put myself in her position many times. I too dream of holding a baby of my own in my arms someday and after ten years of trying I do sometimes "give up" on that dream. I have been incredibly blessed with two beautiful boys through adoption and I will be eternally grateful that I have the honor of being a mother, their mother. But there is a part of my heart that will always cling to the hope of bearing a child, however, I have been known to "laugh" when people ask if I tihnk it will ever happen!

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  118. I was a little confused as to why some of these things took place (such as sarah offering her maidservant), so am glad you went into depth. I can understand Sarah because I too feel rebellious, impatient, angry, and jealous of others, but am awe stricken to see how God responded by following thru with his word and still loves Sarah. We have an amazing GOD!!!

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  119. Let me say that I enjoyed reading about Sarah. I think that her story shows us that when trying to go before God's timing, we end up making a mess of things. I had no idea that her descendants and Hagar's descendants were still fighting today. That is amazing. It shows how God knows the outcome of our decisions, even long after we have passed.

    I am guilty of not waiting on God's timing. The reflection questions really hit home and made me think. I am not trusting God with certain areas of my life and really need to make a change here. Honestly, the areas that I'm not trusting Him with are the areas where I probably need Him the most. Amazing how that works. I also pondered on the question regarding the dream or promise that I have given up on.

    I love this Bible Study and appreciate the opportunity to participate. Thank you ladies!

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  120. I feel like I am struggling now. My husband was fourth generation owner of a car dealership and we recently had to shut down because of economic conditions. This could have been devestating to my husband, because he so surely felt like God had told him this would be a successful business and to plug on. I can really learn a lot from my husband, because he is being positive and very open to where God wants to lead him now. (I on the other hand have done some freaking out and want a fix now!) This is teaching me to trust in God (especially with the godly example my husband is displaying for me) I write all this to say that I feel like I am very much like Sarah. If God told us there would be sucess, then where is it? Maybe God needs my help to get it going. Obviously He doesn't. I am so grateful He has given us examples in the Bible of what not to do along with what to do, because we can sure make a mess of things when we get involved can't we?

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  121. I did it.

    "Em"

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  122. What a blessing to have this study time with my sweet sisters in Christ! I love Rachel's insight into the scriptures, and I was so touched by the postings I read, of our common struggles, our heartaches, and our joy... we all have so much to gain by understanding the life lessons of Sarah, Eve and others. This 6 week series is just what I needed to get committed to daily time with my Bible....structure, accountablity, and fellowship time!

    Thanks, Rachel, for leading us in this exciting study!

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  123. Three years ago, on the verge of divorce, God placed in my heart the desire not only to keep my marriage, but to have another child (we have a daughter). The Lord put the same desire on my husbands heart. It was such an odd thing to think and such an odd time to think it - we knew it was God and we believed Him for that promise. Fast forward to now and we have a great marriage (thank you, Lord!) but still no baby. Some days I think it's just not going to happen for us and I start to resolve myself to that. Other days I want it so badly it hurts. This story reminds me that God is good. I don't think that He placed this desire on our hearts at the time He did not to provide it for us. I will not "laugh" or doubt any more!

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  124. my best friend's name is sarah and this commentary makes me think of her; impatient, determined, one who enjoys laughter, blessed, loved by GOD and so much more. i know sarah's name was changed from sarai to sarah; what is the meaning of both? i'm certain GOD changed her name for a good reason, but i don't remember why...

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  125. Sarah was so excited to give her husband a child that she realized that baby was not comming fast enough, so out of desperation she pursuaded Abraham to go about it in another was (Not God's way) Surely, Sarah, suffer with the outcome, but God was/is faithful and finally gave her what He had promissed many years ago "A son"...Nothing is impossible for God. even at 90 years old she was able to have a child.
    We need to remember that God's plans not always work with our time.... it has to be at His time...be faithful. Juliana

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  126. Sarah’s story tugged at my heart because of her struggle with infertility. While I have not personally shared that struggle, I have walked through it with a family member.

    Sarah’s sacrificial humble submission and obedience to custom and law in sending her maid to her husband struck me also. Social custom and the Code of Hammurapi in the ancient legal system spelled out the procedure for Sarah’s actions. The primary purpose of marriage was to have children, if a wife was sterile; it was her responsibility to give one of her maids to her husband so the family name could be continued. She was simply doing her duty according to the culture of her time.

    I am not sure I would have been so obedient to this custom or law. How that must have hurt to give up her dream and see it achieved through someone else who held you in contempt. But the great message for me in this passage was that NOTHING is impossible with God! When Sarah was past childbearing age, when her dream was long ago locked away in the secret place in her heart, even when she doubted, God rewarded her faithfulness in a most unexpected way.

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  127. While reading the comments, I read the first sentence of Colby, Alaina, and Breslin Sharp, "I am again reminded of how things turn south when we try to follow our own plans and rely on our own wisdom instead of relying on God." I often get caught up in why God lets bad things happen, but if I take this truth and apply it not only to me, but to the world around me, it makes sense that as we all follow our own plans instead of relying on God, many things can go "south". And God is not a bad parent...he lets us experience the consequences of our actions so we can learn and so we can come back to Him - instead of sheltering us from everything so that we stay stuck in our ways and think we have it together.

    Thank you all for participating in this so I can learn from you!

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  128. It's funny how much Sarah does reflect the modern day woman - the persuasive nature, the persistence, the need for security, the impatience. Even in an ancient culture, women still had such strong influence on their husbands. It really makes me reflect on the severity of what kind of influence I have on my own husband.

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  129. I have been doubting/laughing (at) God and not even realized it until right this minute reading your background on Sarah.

    I have been struggling with a mysterious dis-ease in my lower legs for 7 years. I have perfect health from the knees up. No diabetes, no heart or blood pressure issues--nothing. But, I had to have my right leg amputated below the knee last May--and the docs still do not really know why.

    But, here's the thing, in 2004 God clearly told me he would heal me and I have always believed Him and it has been confirmed since that time. I have played the doctor game (going to specialist after specialist, test after test) but in my heart I have kept my faith and hung on for a miracle. Even last May I was still believing Him-- knowing He could do anything, anything at all. But, lately I have started doubting (laughing at Him, I guess). My left leg is starting to look like my right and I am scared, very scared.

    In the background on Sarah it said they looked to provide for themselves in Egypt--I don't know if that is what I am doing with the doctors. I know He can use them every bit as well as He used the Egyptians or anyone else--I just don't know anymore.

    But, I do know that I don't want to laugh at God--I want my faith to be strong and I am so, so sorry that I have doubted Him.

    Thank you for your indulgence!
    In Joy, GwendolynM

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  130. I loved reading about Sarah.

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  131. I am loving this "Bible Study" with you! This is exactly what I needed. I have read this story many times, but found it extra interesting when I read it last night anticipating your comments today. Like others, I couldn't believe Sarah's lack of faith, but immediately realized THAT'S ME! My life is so simple & easy, but yet I still don't fully give control to God...why???? Pure selfishness and lack of faith. I'm working on it and stories like this help me see where I need to change. Can't wait to see what blessings are ahead in the next study!!!

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  132. It gets me everytime I read this story about Sarah taking matters into her own hands. She couldn't wait for God's plan, she wanted it her way. I can so relate to Sarah because I do that all the time. I say that I trust God and have faith but then I get impatient and try to do things on my own. I try to take matters into my own hands. I need to learn to wait for HIS timing and not mine!

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  133. The loveliest thing about this story (and your reflection on it) are the verses that say "God did for Sarah what He had promised"
    God does beautiful, amazing things for us because He loves us, because He wants us to have the desires of our heart, because He is good. Wow what an amazing thought - and yes I feel all goose-bumpy too!
    God Bless you

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  134. Nice take on the background story. It really does help to know what Sarah had already come through. My translation says that Hagar saw that she had conceived and that she despised Sarah. So the trouble really started with Hagar's reaction. That kind of reaction doesn't breed love and understanding. I've seen a lot of comments that say that God was really tough on Ishmael but there is another place after Issac was born and Ishmael was 13 and was mocking Issac, Sarah wanted him and his Mom to leave. God told Abraham to do what Sarah wanted as he was going to bless Ishmael too but that Issac was to inherit the birthright postion. It always amazes me how God is so good even to the unbelieving! He is kind to the evil and the good as Matthew 5 says. A great lesson for us to remember. I also remembered a place in Hebrew where Sarah is mention in the "Hall of Faith" chapter which says she had faith enough to bare a child in her old age. I know all the moms would agree that it would take an immense amount of faith to do that!!! Childbirth is hard enough for the young but to go through it in old age is more than I can fathom! What a wonderful story of a faithwalk for us to gather courage from. Imagine we are going to meet this Sarah in eternity and we can ask her all about it. So nice to be able to share my musings. So great to have so many women reading the Bible. Great things will come from this!!

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  135. Hello Rachel and the ladies of this wonderful blog:

    Reading Sarah’s story from your writing-perspective Rachel is truly thought-provoking. Truth to be told, if I was in Sarah’s situation, I may have done the same thing: to take care of “it” myself. Then, there’s Hagar, I felt somewhat sorry for her that she was used by Sarah and Abraham. But with God ALL things are possible!

    This past weekend, I “felt” very sad after watching beautiful homes on HGTV. I told myself silently that my husband and I, along with our 2 boys (3-years-old & 2-months-old) that based on our current financial situation we may NEVER own a house here in the beautiful Orange County, CA.

    For the last three years, God has been so gracious and generous to me and my family. He has provided for our NEEDS and has allowed me to stay home with my boys while supporting my husband on his full-time Executive-MBA program and will be graduating in June this year. Life is good overall and so grateful for everything. But, just like, Sarah, I doubt at times if we’ll ever own a big house, especially when we start to make payments on those student loans.

    After allowing myself to feel the sadness, I’m reminded of the Scripture:

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    Do not lean on your own understanding
    In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.

    Instead of stressing out cleaning a big house, I’m actually enjoying our cozy 1-bedroom apartment playing with my boys.

    My boys and hubby have definitely brought me laughter, and my faith has been strengthened through living a simplified lifestyle.

    Love, Maricris

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  136. I always get late on into this discussion because I live in England and so have missed your day!

    What a blessing this one has been. THIS IS ME! I am SO impatient to find out what God has in store for my life - I am blessed enough to have choices, my family, my career, as a worship leader at church, but all are pulling SO hard in different directions. What does God want for me to do? I feel I need to make my mind up, but can't find God's answer.

    I must take encouragement from Sarah and learn patience... the irony being that I want to learn to be patient QUICKLY!

    Thanks Rachel - I really believe God led me to your site

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  137. Funny how you can hear a story your whole life, but suddenly something new is revealed. Oh how I needed this study at this time in my life! Even though thousands of years have passed, women are still women and we just need to be reminded that GOD is still in control and can do quite well without our action. All he need is our attention and cooperation

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  138. I am so thankful to be part of this bible study. I too, like someone else said, didn't really get alot out of just opening my bible and reading. This is just what I am needing. I love how reading about Sarah reminds me to not take matters into my own hands but to ask God for help and then trust him and wait on his timing.

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  139. you can learn so much through Sarah's story. i know i get things out it, and you can always get more. one think i learned from studying this story is that God knew what he was doing in reference to things happening in his timing. a lesson we all need to be aware of. thanks for all the insight

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  140. This is a strong reminder not to take things into my own hands. I wonder how many good things would have happened if I would always wait on God. Anytime I rush Him and try to do a little of it for Him, I'm disapointed. It hinders instead of helps, and have consequences to pay for later. But thanks be to God that He is always merciful, and that He always somehow brings us back into His plan for us. Connie

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  141. whats the next reading?

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  142. I have been doubting/laughing (at) God and not even realized it until right this minute reading your background on Sarah.

    I have been struggling with a mysterious dis-ease in my lower legs for 7 years. I have perfect health from the knees up. No diabetes, no heart or blood pressure issues--nothing. But, I had to have my right leg amputated below the knee last May--and the docs still do not really know why.

    But, here's the thing, in 2004 God clearly told me he would heal me and I have always believed Him and it has been confirmed since that time. I have played the doctor game (going to specialist after specialist, test after test) but in my heart I have kept my faith and hung on for a miracle. Even last May I was still believing Him-- knowing He could do anything, anything at all. But, lately I have started doubting (laughing at Him, I guess). My left leg is starting to look like my right and I am scared, very scared.

    In the background on Sarah it said they looked to provide for themselves in Egypt--I don't know if that is what I am doing with the doctors. I know He can use them every bit as well as He used the Egyptians or anyone else--I just don't know anymore.

    But, I do know that I don't want to laugh at God--I want my faith to be strong and I am so, so sorry that I have doubted Him.

    Thank you for your indulgence!
    In Joy, GwendolynM

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  143. Wow, this passage is so pertinent to me right now. No, I'm not on a journey through the desert. Very soon (I hope soon) I will be starting in full time ministry. I know what God has promised me and this path is certainly not one I would have ever dreamed of; but I'm doing my best to step out in faith.
    Sometimes the best way to do this is to simply keep stepping, one foot in front of the other.

    Another thing, well 2 that I've noticed in this passage.

    First, Hagar had a relationship with God. She responded to God's help in a time of trouble by giving God a name "the God who sees me". In giving God a name, Hagar was summing up the change in their relationship. Hagar now knew God as a deity that saw and responded to her troubles. How different this must have been from the Egyptian Gods she learned of as a girl.!

    Second, Abraham was the Father of the nation of Israel. Sarah was it's mother, and as mothers do, she sought to protect and provide for her son. She definitely had some issues (guilt?) concerning Hagar and Ishmael and wanted them to dissapear. It seems to me Sarah wasn't trusting God to take care of her and her family. I wonder what she would have learned from Hagar if she(Sarah) had been able to get along with Hagar and hadn't sent her away?

    Lisa

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  144. I did the reading and, Rachel, I am telling you, I feel like the your words in the study tonight and my words in my study journal fell in line.
    I am going through something akin to this in my own life- not being able to wait for God to provide, taking it upon myself to "make sure" promises are kept. And I have only ended up hurting myself.
    I felt Sarah's impatience, and her PRIDE taking over once she had to look her choice in the face everyday (seeing Hagar becoming more pregnant each day), and like Sarah, I have felt so angry and guilty and ashamed of myself that I have wanted to do just as she did "Send [it] from my sight"
    I have been ill toward the things I once loved and still love greatly. It is just that guilt thing taking over.
    Again, thanks for doing this (I posted for the reading on Eve under one of my other tags- chassity) I am really enjoying studying and learning about the women of the Bible. It's also very nice to know I am not alone. I've read this story a million times, but God really touched my heart with the reading and said to me "You ARE NOT alone."

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  145. This has been great. I am in my senior years and have struggled with making time to read God's word and pray. Looking back over the past 46 yrs (in Sept) of marriage, two girls (5 years apart) and grandchildren I can relate to Eve and Sarah. There have been a lot of problems, heartache, physical problems (of my own), spiritual warfare, I remembering a lot of times reading God's word and the answer I always got was "Wait". God has truly answered a lot of my prayers even though there were times I'm sure I doubted. About 9 years ago I realized that I had to turn control of my life and the lives of my children over to God. When I did, then things began to happen. I can't say it's been an easy road since then but He has always been faithful. I was late starting to read the comments and did not get to read all of them but I would say to them "don't give up, God's not though with you yet" and I know He's not through with me. Thanks for this study.

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  146. This has been great. I am in my senior years and have struggled with making time to read God's word and pray. Looking back over the past 46 yrs (in Sept) of marriage, two girls (5 years apart) and grandchildren I can relate to Eve and Sarah. There have been a lot of problems, heartache, physical problems (of my own), and spiritual warfare. I remember a lot of times reading God's word and the answer I always got was "Wait". God has truly answered a lot of my prayers even though there were times I'm sure I doubted. About 9 years ago I realized that I had to turn control of my life and the lives of my children over to God. When I did, then things began to happen. I can't say it's been an easy road since then but He has always been faithful. I was late starting to read the comments and did not get to read all of them but I would say to them "don't give up, God's not though with you yet" and I know He's not through with me. Thanks for this study.

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  147. Impatient Sara. Impatient me. I so know what it's like to want to take control over a situation, especially since I have very little control over most things in my life. Living in my wheelchair and having to depend on others to help me get through my days, at home or out, through good or bad, I can understand why Sarah got impatient and wanted to get the ball rolling on her own. But I know that God wants me (as He did Sarah) to completely trust Him and believe that everything He's allowed in my life has its purpose -- all for my good and ultimately for His glory -- and that His timing is perfect.

    Thank you, Rachel, for following God's leading and starting this study. It's like being together w/ family every day. :)

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  148. This has been great. I am in my senior years and have struggled with making time to read God's word and pray. Looking back over the past 46 yrs (in Sept) of marriage, two girls (5 years apart) and grandchildren I can relate to Eve and Sarah. There have been a lot of problems, heartache, physical problems (of my own), spiritual warfare, I remembering a lot of times reading God's word and the answer I always got was "Wait". God has truly answered a lot of my prayers even though there were times I'm sure I doubted. About 9 years ago I realized that I had to turn control of my life and the lives of my children over to God. When I did, then things began to happen. I can't say it's been an easy road since then but He has always been faithful. I was late starting to read the comments and did not get to read all of them but I would say to them "don't give up, God's not though with you yet" and I know He's not through with me. Thanks for this study.

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  149. I think in trying to edit my comment it got published too many times. Hope it can be fixed

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  150. It's amazing how differently things can be seen each time a verse is read. Maybe God's trying to teach us slowly so we can comprehend one thing at a time. I know I definitely need to take it one step at a time. I love how the Lord has so much patience with his children!

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  151. I can definitly see myself in Sarah! Many times in my life I have impatiently waited for God's answers to my prayer. Instead of putting my worries and problems into God's hands, I tend to grab them back and attempt to take control. I am a planner and I like to know what to expect. Instead, I need to trust in the Lord and have faith that he knows what is best and know that his timing is best. I can relate so much to Sarah. She didn't want to wait for God either. His timing wasn't what she had in mind. However, taking matters into her own hands only led to trouble. The lesson I have learned from this scripture reading is that I have to have faith and trust in God's timing and plan for my life. I need to let go and let God!!!

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  152. I enjoyed reading your insight. We are so quick to judge Sarah forgetting that we probably would have done the same thing.
    I am thankful for God's mercy, kindness and forgiveness He shows toward us.

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  153. I am so thankful for this group/study ...what an amazing gift and Rachel...you have such a gift to lead and make the Bible come alive to other women!

    As I read what you wrote tonight, it occurred to me that I have been Sarah, LITERATELY, in the past! My husband and I have two little miracle baby girls (4.5&2 yrs.) and because of a severe uterian disease I was told I would never have children. However, God gave me a direct promise that we would have 2 children. Not only did specialists tell me that I would NEVER conceive on my own, they also said that if we ever finally did get pregnant I might never carry a pregnancy to term and just as predicted I had 3 miscarriages. We went through invitro fertilization and when we got pregnant that first time, we also found out we were having twins! I was so excited that I was actually seeing God fulfill his promise to me. It seemed so easy! However, in the middle of that pregnancy, I lost one of the twins and was devastated wondering what the heck God was doing? Why would He give me that promise and then take it away? After a very rocky pregnancy, our first little miracle arrived!

    Nine months into her life, I began to get restless and decided, against what the holy spirit was telling me to do, we should immediately go into another round of invitro fertilization to try for another baby. I was afraid that if we didn't move on it, we would lose our chance for a second (similar to Sarah losing faith that she would never conceive...she took matters into her own hands to try to make the promise happen on her terms and so did I) We ended up getting pregnant again but losing the pregnancy at 15 weeks.

    At that point, out of shear desperation, I surrendered to the Lord wholeheartedly, my dreams, my time table, the promise He gave me and what I wanted. I also realized that I needed to get on God's time table, not mine and that no matter what the circumstances, I was going to trust that God would fulfill his promise to me! 4 months after that spiritual breakthrough, we were pregnant on our own, no invitro, totally natural! A huge medical miracle!

    It always interests me that no matter how long I've been a Christian, no matter how many times God comes through, just like He said he would, we never arrive in the faith journey! Just like breathing, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to have faith! Without faith, its impossible to please God! No matter what happens to me in the future...I know God has a plan and that He will be faithful to complete His work in me! God's plan in our lives is always better than ours could ever be and the faith journey, and waiting for the promise to come to pass, is all part of the amazing process of loving Jesus! I wouldn't change it for the world!

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  154. Thank you Rachel - I am learning so much! I had prayed for a bible study and it looks like once again, God has provided!

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  155. First, Thanks to plantlady, Janet and Jocelyn for your congratulations and prayers on Ben's and my upcoming marriage. Sarah and Abraham's story impacted me a lot. Sarah and Abraham were godly people and yet they tried to do things their way when it came to having children. This hits me especially in light of my upcoming marriage to Ben because due to a genetic condition he has, it is medically impossible for Ben to ever be a biological father. Once he and I realized we were meant to be together and he told me, I had to come to terms with it. I know that I want our children to be as much his as mine, so I guess adoption is the way. All my life I had imagined that I'd get married and I'd give birth to our children... even though I knew there were many couples who couldn't conceive. What's amazing is that the Lord gave me peace within minutes of Ben breaking the news to me.... I know Ben will be an excellent father and there are so many children who need adoptive parents. I also now see that it is a blessing to know now that adoption is how we will become parents, rather than trying to conceive and not being able to. Yet there's a part of us that wants the miracle like Abraham and Sarah had... for us to conceive even though it is not possible according to medical science. What is impossible for man is possible for God!!!!

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  156. I have come back to this site many
    times today, just to read more of
    all the posting. I am really
    learning so much and I did not have
    more than a basic knowledge of the
    bible. Thank you soooo much!!!

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  157. This is so awesome. I've read this story many times but your insight is awesome. Thank you so much for all of the time you are putting into this. You are a true gift from God!

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  158. Sarah has been on my heart lately anyway, so this was the perfect time to post about it. Thanks for your insight --I picked the same verses as you did! http://morequestionsthana.blogspot.com/2008/03/thankful-thursday-meets-women-of-bible.html

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  159. Hi Rachel, I'm just getting started, I've done the reading on both Eve and Sarah, I've always enjoyed these stories for I know nothing is impossible with God. I had a daughter out of wedlock at age 15, God has redeemed that entire situation, she has a wonderful husband and 9 beautiful children. She faithfully serves the Lord with her whole heart and life.
    I've always felt sorry for Hagar, but God is Sovreign and knows what is best for all of our lives. I also learned taking matters into our own hands is not the best way, it was a stuggle raising my daughter, she suffered many heartbreaks over never knowing her real Father...but...Oh what joy God brings out of pain when we turn it over to Him, stand back and watch Him work for our good.
    Thank you for this wonderful study time, it's much needed at this time in our world.
    Josie

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  160. I did it...

    Control, like myself Sarah felt that she needed to take control. But God didn't need her help he had a plan, a plan of his own. There are times that my impatience takes over and I feel like I need to step in and take control of the situation, and like with Sarah, He has had to show/teach me that He is in control, that's how I have learned faith.

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  161. My observations from Sarah
    1- Sarah played the blame game like Eve.
    2- Perhaps Sarai despised herself because she realized she had made a mistake by stepping in and trying to control the situation. She didn’t go to God for directions. She moved a head of God as we often do.
    3- Sarai led Abraham to do wrong just as Eve led Adam. And then when things didn’t turn out as she desired she became angry with him. My thought and I don’t want to upset anyone but wives often lead husbands to make a decision about something they want and then when it does not turn out the way they want they accuse him of messing up than they want him to act/be the head of the house and should have known better.
    4- How many times have we laughed at something that God did for us. Laugh not in doubt but @ how funny God can be sometimes. I have been known to laugh because I continue to be amazed at how amazing God is.
    5- Fear leads to lying by many. For some reason it appears to be easier to lie when one is afraid than tell the truth. There is even more fear in the consequences of the truth. Perhaps Sarah should have responded yes because I am amazed that God would bless me in such a way in my old age. How many of us have felt we were too old to do something and God allowed us to do it. Didn’t you laugh I did. I think Sarah’s reaction was human. And not a lack of faith in God’s ability.
    6- Lessons I learned: Don’t forget god knows all even our thoughts. A good reason to guard our thoughts. There are consequences to moving a head of God. Communication is important to maintain relationships. Sarah didn’t talk with Hagar about her behavior once she became pregnant. Sarah didn’t look at the situation she put Hagar in she allowed a servant to lie with her husband. Can you imagine how Hagar felt she had moved up in the world. Sarah also didn’t consider that with most women when they are with a man it is emotional. Hagar could not remain untouched emotionally not only had she given herself the result was a child. A bond is developed. In making life decisions we must consider all aspects of it not just how it will benefit us. We often open the door that leads others to treat us badly. We let our desires get ahead of our judgment. With God there is happiness joy laughter when we let Him control the desires of our heart and provide in His time.

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  162. Oh how I can relate to Sarah, even though I wish it weren't so! She was coniving, manipulative, jealous, regretful, mean, doubting, a liar...the list could go on...and yet God blessed her anyway. How many times have I done some of the same things...with wavering faith trying to make things happen the way "I" want them to happen instead of waiting for God to show his great plan. Aren't we thankful for a God who is merciful!

    Pam

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  163. Hi Rachel,

    I am amazed at how you interpret the story and new insights from you and God! God does the impossible and he fully delievers his promises. God is not fooled and He knows what you do and what you think and he sees our thinking and our actions but God loves us unconditionally and takes care of us. I also learned from this is that we have to trust God for the impossible and be patient while waiting to hear/receive from Him. God's timing is perfect and He never fails to deliever!

    God surely is Awesome!

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  164. When I read this story, I think of how wonderfully God took care of Sarah, Abraham and Haggar, even though they took things into their own hands, as we all do. We think that maybe this is what God wants me to do, instead of just waiting on Him. Thank you Rachel for your insights, you made me think, and I needed that. Bless you and yours.

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  165. Thank you, Rachel- this gets better every day, and with every posting that i read!

    And, thank you for your thoughts on Sarah. I too, have seen myself in both of the ladies that we have studied- impatience, the need to control, etc. Fighting the need to second-guess God and his callender is a task i struggle with daily!
    Please pray for me, as i am awaiting a letter of admission/ denial into a graduate program (social work). I catch myself checking my mail box for an admission letter... just hoping! But i have to constantly remind myself that I want God's WILL more than that admission! Pray that I will accept the Lord's will... no matter what the outcome... and that He also sends peace and contentment.
    Thank you, again, Rachel - and to all the ladies participating!
    This is such a treat!

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  166. To middle aged anonymous. I too am middle aged and have found that God is good and is faithful INSPITE of myself.

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  167. Wow, how we all can see ourselves in these women (so far) I am in a situation right now where God is seeing if I trust Him and I find it so amazing when we think "this time He may not come through" and He always does. Thank you for this opportunity to see that God continues to work on our patience!!

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  168. Wow, I loved this reading on Sarah. God is so amazing in the way He is able to teach us lessons through these women. I can't wait to continue the study. I want to say to Bethann and the other women facing infertility issues; be encouraged. I pray that if it is His will, He will grant you the desires of your heart. I too dealt with ifertility issues and I was also diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 23 when I was just married. THe doctors told me pregnancy would not happen. I began to doubt God even when I thought He promised me a child. THank God for my husband having faith when I did not. I no longer have infertility issues but the ironic thing is that I now get pregnant at the drop of a hat but have trouble carrying to term. I am on my 5th pregnancy now at 26 weeks. All the others have resulted in late losses. THis is the furthest that we have gotten and I am encouraged. Although I don't know the outcome of this pregnancy, I have faith in my Father and know that His will is perfect for my life. I am just grateful for the miracle of experiencing this pregnancy with this precious baby boy for this amount of time. I could not say that a year ago, BUT GOD:) He has given me peace in the middle of the situation and I have decided that I will trust Him no matter the outcome. With each pregnancy, He has taught us something and has drawn us closer to Him and each other. I believe it will happen in His time. Trust and obey ladies. He is all powerful!

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  169. This passage of scripture is a reminder that promises of God are yes and amen in christ Jesus. I am holding on to the promises of God...yes, i have laughed(doubt)@ some of the promises...b/c of feeling that i was unworthy and because of physical features (obese and not having dentures). One of the promises is concerning my godly mate...awaiting the manifestation. those are areas i struggle in. When the lord began revealing things concerning mate...i was like yeah...right...who...i laughed. I have waivered in my faith b/c of internal/external issues. I don't have any children and i'm believing God for that as well...and i used to remind Him of my biological clock. Of course God would remind me...that His timing is always perfect and i didn't need to remind the "creator". LOL
    I'm holding on to his promises...and i know my mate is on the way....and the family as well. I would like to encourage "bethann" to hold fast to your faith and continue to delight yourself in the Lord b/c he will give you the desires of your heart. Those tests you've been through...are part of your "test"imony....for the miracles to come. Blessings Always

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  170. Like you, in the past, I think I could not quite get over Sarah sharing Abraham with Hagar and agreeing to be a part of Pharoah's Harem. This time however, I was able to put my own emotions aside to dig deeper . . . when you asked us to ask ourselves if there was a particular area that we were taking matters into our own hands, I was overwhelmed with such instances where I choose to walk in the flesh rather than simply lisyening to & being obedient to the Holy Spirit. I pray and believe that anytime I find myself doing these things I will instantly be reminded of "this" Sarah.

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  171. I'm really loving this. I'm like Sarah sometimes. I tend to get impatient if things I want are not happening fast enough for me. Now that I have seen God's love, grace, mercy and blessings, my faith is much stronger. For years I was having miscarriages after miscarriages. After a while a specialist even told that I would not have any children. At the age of 35, God allowed me to become pregnant. My son will be 8 yrs. old March 21st. He gave me my son when He knew I was ready, not when I thought so. I didn't have faith back then. I didn't even know how to pray and leave it in God's hands. I thank God for finding me, speaking to me and opening up my ears to hear Him speak to me now....

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  172. This lesson was so helpful and convicting to me. I realize that in many areas of my life, I am the "pilot" while God is the "Co-Pilot". I need to let God be the "Pilot" and trust that He knows best. Thank you for your insights! This is a wonderful study!

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  173. I really enjoyed reading and hearing what everyone has to say. Can't you just hear Sarah so excited over a baby at her age.
    And to think this was the beginning of those who have held grudges all these years and that is most likely their excuse for fighting today if the truth be known. We learned that on our trip to Israel in 1999. Pride in family and how they defend the past by holding grudges. It is still a Holy War....and to know and learn the history makes us understand more clearly why those who are over there understand our presence the best. I can see how Sarah and Hagar begain the conflict in a way...or their sons did. But Sarah must have been a wonderful woman to admire for many reasons.
    StarrNana

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  174. I did it!

    Thanks for this study!

    Lia

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  175. I did it!
    Wow! This sounds a lot like the way I try to manipulate things!
    Thanks for the study. I am really excited about what God has revealed to me through these stories.

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  176. Racheal,
    Thanks so much for sharing your thots on this.
    Hmnnnn, i read this passage twice over and i still had same questions. Like, why would Sarah ask Abraham to sleep with Hagar? Why did God not leave Ishmael to die in the dessert after Sarah chased them from home?......etc.

    And one thing that struck me about God is how merciful, kind loving and faithful He is to us even when we least desrve it.
    Like Racheal said, inspite of so much shortcomings on Sarah's part, God still DID FOR HER. In reality, i am a lot like Sarah and i learned from this lesson to always remember that "when God says He will, then He surely will". regardeless of time, circumstances. I just have to be " STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD".

    lOLLS

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  177. I know I hate to wait on anything. So, waiting on a child for years and years would lead me to take matters into my own hands like Sarah. I am a doer. So, knowing my faults-hating to wait, I pray I don't make more Sarah mistakes. God is showing me how to BE..wait, trust, obey, and believe.
    blessings
    Kay

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  178. What struck me was the influence we wives have in the lives of our husbands. How am I influencing my husband from day to day?

    Thanks for the questions at the end of your comments. Good to think and pray on.

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  179. As read this, I felt the Lord speaking to me about my Faith. Telling me to trust Him and wait on Him to do what He said He would do. Deep inside I know He will, but sometimes I want to get ahead of Him. It is all about His timing and not mine. Thank you so much for sharing this Bible study with me and others.

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  180. So many of you have said something that I didn't even get on my own from the reading -- we wives tend to "push" our husbands into place and things that WE think are right. And then we get upset when things don't turn out right and we blame our men for not taking responsibility. I know I have done this same thing with my husband numerous times.

    Oh God, just help me be the helpmate rather than trying to usurp the leadership position all the time. And God, give my husband the confidence, strength, and wisdom to be the leader that you intended him to be. Help me see him through your eyes and help me trust in the plans you given my husband for those surely are the plans for my life as well.

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  181. Thankyou for reminding me that the Lord does not take back his promises even when I don't do my part. Like Sarah, I to have laughed at promises that I could not imagine and tried to manipulate circumstances when I got impatient. A while ago the Lord laid on my heart the words "Wait on the Lord, Wait on the Lord". Pretty simple yet easy to forget. Thankyou God for this reminder and thankyou to all of you for your insights and words of wisdom.

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  182. I just joined and I am soooooo amazed at how timely this is, Rachel.

    Sarah's story has always amazed me, but for some reason reading it again has definitely hit home. I'm going through this season of "God...but you said... and when is it going to happen"... type of season. The warnings of not going ahead of God and trusting His word, as well as, seeing how God provides even in "Egypt" has so ministered to me. Yes, the God of Sarah, the one who wanted to meet HER NEEDS, is the same God of today that wants to PERSONALLY meet mine. WOW!! This is truly awesome.

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  183. Great story. I love that God brought laughter (FAITH) into her life after such turmiol and strife.

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  184. This story has truly helped me to understand that I need to be patient and wait on God's timing, not mine! I am sure I have missed out on some of His blessings because I wanted to do things in my own time instead of His.

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  185. I really was impressed by the fact that God fulfilled the plans "for Sarah" - what hope that gives me that God cares about me too. Thanks, Rachel, for this study!

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  186. I too have been like Sarah and doubted. I think we all have. But God's grace is sufficient even in my time of unbelief. There is always that hope (faith) that those prayers will be answered.

    I am blessed to have found this website. I look forward to learning more of there mighty women of God.

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  187. Hey Ladies! Really love reading the comments. I love Genesis and the people God shares with us there. We definitely learn something about waiting on God. My husband and I have been having an ongoing discussion about listening to God and that when we do things outside of what He is calling us to there could be consequences-even things that seem innocent or "right." Sara thought that giving Abraham Hagar was the right thing to do, nowhere did she ask God what she should do. And then she goes and blames Abraham for the issues between her and Hagar. I love what Carolyn said about the influence we can have on our husbands, its so true, we have to be careful. I just got done reading "Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs. She gives some great insight too on Sarah, Hagar (who's story I came to like, the way Yahweh ministers to her, Beautiful), and some of the other women I am sure we will be discussing. Brought to light things I never thought of. I recommend it!

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  188. This is my first post so far, but I have been doing the readings (getting up to speed with the group :D ) and this is such an awesome experience so far, Wow. Rachel I am so thankful for this opportunity to grow in faith with an amazing group of women bonding together to glorifying God. I was recently disappointed that I was unable to join the women's bible study at church due to school scheduling conflicts but when God closes a door he opens a window and has brought me this wonderful chance to share my faith, and also to find time to dig deep into the bible which has definately been a big struggle for me, and also fits into my busy schedule of school, work, and family etc. Thank you Rachel for bringing this awesome resource to our attention to take a chance to draw closer to God.

    God's Blessings :D

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  189. It is already Friday PM here in Australia and I have read the story of Rebekah. I have to admit I am confused as to why Rebekah would have been so submissive to this stranger. Am I to understand that God was talking to her and telling her to do these things.

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  190. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your sharing & insight. Really, I got a lot. Thank God.

    I was very impressed & encouraged by Gen 18:14 -"Is anything too hard for the LORD ?"

    Yes, "For with God, nothing is impossible!" Thank God for HIS precious promise.

    Oh. I need to catch up with you ladies as I've got one day left behind. Anyway, I'll keep on making time to read HIS word.

    In Christ,
    JL @-@

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  191. Thank you for your insight. Its funny because I felt the same way you did many years ago when I first read the story. It made me laugh, but God is so awesome that He can make things happen when we least expect it. Never give up on our awesome God. He has our best interest!

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  192. I struggle with laughing at my own selfishness. Sometimes I feel like laughing because I think I will always be impatient with people and want to have my own way!

    I was recently remarried two years ago, work 40 hours a week, got to college two days a week, and I am raising tweens and teens...I am worn out! I don't really see how I can give anymore, and I always feel guilty when I feel like asking for something for me.

    I look at the example of Sarah, and I get it. It's not about us...its really not. God placed us on the Earth to bring glory to Him, not ourselves. I think there is a part of me that will always want my own way, and I will try sometimes to make things happen in my own strength, but I always know the end results will be disastrous.

    Thank you Rachel for this study :)

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  193. Thank you Rachel. Your insights have really helped me take a closer look at some things going on in my own life. I have been a "Sarah" myself lately. Trying to "help" God along!! Thank you thank you for this study

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  194. Like Sarah, I have found myself many times wanting to take matters in my own hands ... and each time, I have come out on the losing side. But like Abraham, many times I have set out going and not knowing (Hebrews 11:8), and finding myself blessed.

    Most recently, after having back surgery in December and not recovering as quickly as planned, my husband and I made the decision for me to quit my job and stay home. This was a huge step of faith for me, but also for us as a family. Now our battle is to be like Abraham, trusting God for our every need, and not like Sarah, who will just take it out of God's hands when options are few.

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  195. waiting is faith I try to do the math on both and sometimes i fail on the time but God's love brings me back. Sometimes we get out of his time like Sarah did and make big mistakes I mean bad choices that wcould change our life for ever but God's love and forgivenns could change it for good.

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  196. you explain things so well.We can give up on God ,thinkingtime is running out almost...we have to keep trusting and believing in what God says will come to pass....in his time!! If it was left to us,we would miss out on so much.Thankyou for this bible study on ladies ,Godbless you,Tracey Wales u.k

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  197. This is such an awesome story! Too many times I want things in my timing. How it shows it is truly God's timing and He knows all.

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