But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASV)
I am not God. This information is not breaking news, nor will it shock anyone. However, I am beginning to see the need to admit, “I am not God. Neither are you.” Logically, we know this to be true. Yet, we go about living as if we are in control of every moment of every day.
In a broken world, where all seems lost, I believe I must stand up and take control. Someone has to, right? I do my best to control situations and circumstances, conversations and people. I stand on truth, and have become convinced it is my duty to ensure others believe that truth. When chaos abounds, I work diligently to restore peace.
My name is not Jehovah Shalom.
Jesus saves, not me.
I do not know the number of stars in the sky. I cannot count the grains of sand near any ocean, or in my own backyard. The number of my days are unknown to me. In fact, I have no idea how many hairs lay on my own head. In reality, I know so little. I can do so little.
Sarah, or Sarai as she is originally named, once believed she needed to take control. In Genesis 15, God makes a covenant with Abraham, then called Abram. God promises descendants more numerous than the stars in the sky. God promises Abram’s descendants will take possession of land. Descendants, many of them. But, Abram and his wife, Sarai, are old, and they have no children. How will God fulfill his promise?
Sarai springs into action: horrible, misguided action.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” (Genesis 16:1-2)
Hagar gives birth to a son, Ishmael, as Sarai intended. However, the tension is so great between the two women, Hagar flees.
How many lives must endure the effects of Sarai’s decision? Oh sweet Sarai, if only you had just trusted in God’s promises.
Yet, God returns and tells the elderly couple they will have a son. They laugh, both of them. How? Surely God knows they are much too old to conceive. God is so very merciful to them.
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. (Genesis 17:19-22)
God keeps his promise, in spite of actions taken by Sarah, Abraham, and Hagar. Sarah falsely believes she can manufacture the promises of God. Oh, Sarah, I shake my head in wonder, because I am so prone to do the same.
I am prone to hear God’s promises then attempt to bend and shape circumstances and people to fit my version of the promise. This has never worked. I feel you need to know that. My attempts to do the work only God can do have failed one hundred percent of the time. Only God can fulfill the promises he makes. God alone directs my path and makes it straight.
He does not need me to be him. No, he would much prefer I know him. His preference is not for me to work my fingers to the bone bending and shaping wills, but to be in relationship with him. He does not need me to be him. He needs me to be fully me: a child of his, a reflection of his goodness and grace.
Friend, God desires to know us, fully and intimately. He invites us to be his hands and feet. However, we need to release the death grip we have on life. Surrender all. You and I need to walk by faith, trusting him to fulfill his promises. He will; he always has. The pressure heaped across your shoulders? It was never yours to carry. Lay it down, friend. Join me in going to the cross and laying down what was never meant for us.