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Monday, November 24, 2014

How the Lord Helped a Miserable, Unhappy Lady

She was the most miserably unhappy lady in the world at the time. All her dreams had failed, her hopes dashed. She had a husband but he was deeply disappointed with her for she was the prime hindrance to the fulfillment of all his dreams. When she prayed (if ever she did!), well, God never picked up the phone. All the doors in heaven seemed closed against her. The neighbors for miles around talked behind her back; she was the one who was the problem hindering her husband's career. Yes, she was bitter and felt she had every reason to be so. "God is against me! He could bless me if He wanted to!"
For decades she probably had numerous crying spells, and maybe some stormy blow-ups. And she had a name that probably no lady today has; some scholars think it meant "contentious"--"Sarai." Her husband had a brilliant career before him if only she wasn't standing in his way. If she could only die, then God would let her husband marry a new wife who could help him instead of hinder him.
What does God propose to do to help Sarai? Give her a tongue-lashing for her bitterness and unbelief, tell her off, give her a "testimony" to straighten her out and put her down, "lay her glory in the dust"? Tell her He is firing her, setting her aside so He can give her "crown" to someone more worthy? No, when she stood beside Abram and said, "I do," God accepted her as Mrs. Abram for all time to come. All the promises to him that he should be the "father of many nations ... and kings shall come out of thee" meant 100 percent that she "shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." Abram, you will stop calling her "contentious" and now call her "the Princess."
What the Lord did to help this crushed and bitter old lady was astonishing: He simply gave her Good News. "At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (see Gen. 17:5, 6, 16; 18:9-18). But the sad truth is that Good News doesn't do anybody any good unless it is believed. What did Sarah do with it?

--Robert J. Wieland

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