by Patricia Narjala on Youversion
That’s often my inner reaction when someone casually glances at my situation and glibly tells me that it’s all going to work out.
It’s a cynical response. Maybe birthed out of hoping—and having hope crushed. Or, dreaming—and having dreams deferred. Or praying—and having prayers unanswered.
Maybe you’ve been there too. Where uncertainty about the future has given way to cynicism and where hope has dwindled into skepticism.
In Scripture, we meet with Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Her husband had been given a promise that he would be the father of nations. But after decades of hopes being dashed, Sarah was cynical.
Perhaps, initially, she had been uncertain about the details—when would this promised child be born? How would it happen? Would she and Abraham have the energy to take care of a newborn?
Maybe those were the questions that raced through her mind. But as months gave way to years and years to decades, Sarah’s uncertainty seems to have morphed into cynicism.
When a group of three men (angels from God) visit Abraham and tell him that he will be a dad in the span of a year, the eavesdropping Sarah laughs (Genesis 18: 12). It’s not a joyful laugh. But a laugh that’s disbelieving. A “yeah, right” reaction.
But God, in His mercy, fulfills His promise to Abraham and Sarah.
Genesis 21: 1 reveals God’s faithfulness and kindness as it says: “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.”
Sarah’s cynicism turns to bubbling-over joy at the birth of her son, Isaac. And she says: “God has brought me laughter…” (Genesis 21: 6).
This time her laughter didn’t stem from doubting—but from seeing the goodness of God in her life.
God can take the uncertain situations, the problems that have no solutions, the disbelief, the anxiety, even the cynicism, and He can turn every situation for our good and His glory.
Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my Lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”Genesis 18:10-12
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?Numbers 23:19
Father God, You are the One who specializes in making the impossible, possible. Father, even as I face an uncertain situation, while I have more questions than answers, while I tend to be cynical and disbelieving sometimes, Father, would you help me put my trust in a faithful God who always keeps His Word? When a deluge of uncertainty and doubt threaten to sweep over me, may I look up to the One who holds the waters in the hollow of His hand, who rebukes the waves, who tells waves how far they can go. Thank You for being a perfectly faithful, magnificently powerful, infinitely wise, all-knowing, always-loving God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.