Having been raised on the stories of the Old Testament it's easy to gloss over them, missing the great truths tucked inside, or, worse yet, to read with a rather judgmental attitude and tsk-tsk at the foolish mistakes "those people" made way back then.
A wise teacher once encouraged me to put myself into the familiar stories - to imagine myself right there in the midst of their circumstances. So today, let's take off our comfy flats and slip into the sandals of Sarai - or as God later renamed her, Sarah.
The story is, indeed, a familiar one. We meet Sarah in Genesis. She and her husband Abraham have been called by God to leave their home and go to a country He will show them. Abraham is given a promise - God will make him into a great nation. Along with the promise comes the understanding that, although they are childless and fairly well on in years, they will some day have a son.With great faith, they obediently pack up all their belongings and begin their journey.
Now we'll fast-forward ten years or so. Abraham and Sarah have settled in the land of Canaan. God has reassured Abraham of His promise; He will give him and his descendants, as a permanent possession, all the land around him - as far as the eye can see.
However, there is still no baby, and Abraham and Sarah aren't getting any younger. Sarah has been waiting a long time to see the fulfillment of the promise - a very long time. Nagging doubts fill her mind, and she begins to do exactly what I've done so many times myself. She thinks of a way she can help God out. She will have Abraham sleep with her servant girl, Hagar. It was a common practice for a barren woman to give a female servant to her husband so that they would have an heir. It seemed like the perfect solution.
Please follow me over to Laced With Grace for the rest of the story.