Waiting on the Lord: Lessons from Sarah

Have you ever found yourself waiting on the Lord? Wondering what to do next or confused by your circumstances? Perhaps you are confident that you followed God’s leading only to find yourself in a shakey situation.

Welcome to the Mothers of the Bible series! Today we are talking about Sarah and how thousands of years after she struggled with waiting on the Lord, she is teaching us an invaluable lesson.

The Story of Sarah and Abraham

Most of us are familiar with the story of Sarah and Abraham. God calls Abraham out from among the worshippers of false gods and leads him to a “promised land”. Abraham believes in a God who has a voice. One that speaks to him while the stone statues remain silent.

Sarah is not just along for the ride. She is also seeking this one true God. One has to wonder if she protested when Abraham tells her they are moving away from all that is familar. The Bible gives no indication, only that Abraham and Sarah obeyed.

We do know that Sarah bears the burden of an empty womb. Like so many strong women throughout scripture, we see the pain of infertility and how God witholds his blessing for a greater purpose.

BUT God promises Abraham a son. He tells Abraham to look up into the night sky and promises that the number of his descendants would be as the number of stars.

How can that be when his wife is barren?

waiting on the lord

Why is God Taking so Long?

Years go by and Sarah remains childless. Her heart aches and her faith wavers. How could the promise possibly be true? Why is God taking so long?

Sarah, like many of us, decides to help God along with His promises. Perhaps the child doesn’t have to come directly from her body. Her beautiful Egyptian servant is young and healthy. Perhaps she could bear the child for her.

Abraham agrees to the plan and Ishmael is born. Their entire tribe rejoices and Abraham is overjoyed. His heart’s desire has been met!

Sarah is filled with jealousy and her once faithful servant is now looking at her with scorn, perhaps thinking she is more highly favored because she was able to provide the son that Sarah could not.

Whenever we take matters into our own hands, we end up facing obstacles we wouldn’t have had to otherwise. Sarah makes a mess of the whole situation and all the while God still has a plan.

Waiting on the Lord has never been so difficult!

In the long awaited climax, God’s promise is fulfilled, God blesses her womb, and Sarah bears a son in her old age- 90 years old.

Can you imagine giving birth at 90? Can you imagine having longed for a child for over half a century, begging God, waiting for God, trying to believe in his promises?

What an amazing day that must have been!

What the Bible Says about Waiting on the Lord

So, what can we learn from our beautiful matriarch? Are you struggling to believe in God’s promises? Are you tired of waiting on the Lord and are tempted to take matters in your own hands?

Waiting on God Verses

If you find yourself currently waiting on God, you are in good company!

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25-26)

God is good to those who are waiting for Him. He sends encouragement and hope for those who are waiting.

Therefore I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)

He also promises to be present. We can have confidence that He hears us!

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)

What are the Benefits of Waiting on the Lord?

What is the point? I mean, why did God take years to fulfill His promises to Abraham and Sarah? Why does God give us a vision and then only a decade later put it into action? Why do our prayers appear to go unanswered when He promises that He is near?

Some of the benefits of waiting on the Lord provided in scripture are:

  • Waiting on the Lord produces patience
  • Waiting on the Lord teaches us to rely on God’s strength
  • Waiting on the Lord provides us a direction and a vision
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Waiting on the Lord Produces Patience

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:2-8)

I come back to these verses in James over and over. Is it possible to find hope and conviction in the same passage?

God Provides us Strength when We Wait on Him

So often we are strong on our own. I have a friend who always reminds me that I don’t need to be so strong on my own. I am thankful to her because I become exhausted muscling through with my own strength.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

When we are waiting on the Lord we are given the opportunity to grow in Him, see his attributes working in our lives, and give up our own control.

Waiting on the Lord Gives Us Direction and a Vision

Sarah took matters into her own hands and it caused her a lot of grief. Often times God needs to work out details that we cannot see. As we learn to wait on God, His will becomes clearer and we begin to understand our purpose in greater detail.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

I like how Paul compares training for a race with disciplining his body. We all need that discipline. Waiting on the Lord forces us to bring our bodies into subjection and focus our attention solely on God’s will.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Other Great Posts on Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on God is such an important topic and way more than I could write in one post so I want to give you opportunity from these great bloggers to study this topic further.

May the Lord bless you as He did Sarah in your quest to obey and follow Him.

Worhip in the Waiting by As He Leads is Joy

Waiting for God in an Insta-Everything World by Rock Solid Faith

When You are Tired of Waiting by Candidly Christian

Waiting on God? 10 Scriptures to Pray While Waiting by Pray with Confidence

Check out the other inspirational posts in the Mothers of the Bible Series!

Loved by God: The Story of Leah

The Story of Tamar: How to Have Patience When Life isn’t Fair

Trusting God in Difficult Times: Lessons from the Mother of Moses

The Story of a Mother’s Sacrifice

Does God Test Our Faith: The Story of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

The Bible Story of Rebekah and Her Courage to Follow God’s Perfect Plan

Lessons from Hannah in the Bible and the Pain of Infertility

Persistence in the Bible: A Mother’s Faith

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Hi, I am Heather! I am a mom of five, homeschooler, homesteader, and lover of all things chocolate. I am excited to share your faith and parenting journeys with you. Whether you are here looking to grow your faith, heal from loss, find homeschool resources, or hope to find inspiration in raising godly children, you are in the right place. So, grab your favorite hot beverage, curl up in your comfy chair, and stay awhile.

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