When A Promise Goes Beyond Us
One night I was all hopped up on caffeine and I decided that I would go for a run. I remember that is was cold and I could see my breath as I was running, the sky was crystal clear and it seemed like I could see every star that God placed in space. I remember just being in awe of how beautiful the sky was.
Running is a time when I have the ability to hear God the clearest and as I ran that night He spoke to me about Abraham and how Abraham sat under these name stars many many generations ago. Abraham wasn’t a special specimen, but God chose him and that’s what makes him special. God made him a promise through the stars in the sky, “He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Gen 15:5) At this point Abraham was in his 80’s and he did not yet have a child, so by human standards this was not going to be possible.
At the age of 100 only a portion of this promise came to pass. Abraham wouldn’t see the fulfillment of this promise in it’s entirety with his own eyes. He would never see his descendants outnumber the stars in the sky, but Abraham believed that God keeps his promises, even when they go beyond us. Something our generation has lost, is the ability to believe God keeps His promises even if we don’t see them with our own eyes. God has made me promises that I may never see, but my children will. He has made promises to my great grandparents that I get to live out now.
I have wasted so much time striving to make promises from God happen, to manipulate things into existence that aren’t for me, but they are for my kids or even my grandkids. David never got to build the temple and it was his hearts desire to build God a temple to dwell in, but that responsibility was given to his son Solomon. A promise made for another generation to fulfill. As mother’s we have the ability to tune our ears to hear the promises from God that we may or may not see in our lifetime but we also have the ability to lay a foundation for those promises to manifest. What kind of a foundation are we laying for our kids to build on? Are we laying faithlessness, bitterness, anger, hopelessness, unforgiveness, discontentment? Or are we laying a foundation paved with prayer, faith, hope, joy, love?
Abraham trusted God. God never let him down even when things didn’t happen in the timing Abraham thought they should. In Romans 4:21 we are told that Abraham, “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Abraham was fully persuaded that God could and would do what He said he would. I can honestly say, sometimes I don’t know or believe that He is or will fulfill the promises He has made to me. I want to have the faith that Abraham had, being fully persuaded that God keeps his promises, whether I see them or not. I want to be fully persuaded that God has perfect timing, that He doesn’t miss a single detail.
I DO know that I have the authority to thank God in advance for the promises that he has made to me but I don’t see them yet. I do get the ability to share with my kids the promises God has made to me because one day they might get to reap the rewards of that promise and I want them to know it came from God. I get to dream beyond my lifetime and train up my kids in the way that THEY should go because when I am faithful to do that I know they will walk out who God has created THEM to be not who I THINK they should be.
So, as I look at the starts in the sky I can’t help but thank God for answered prayers and promises but I also thank Him for the promises that will go beyond my lifetime and bless those who come after me. I am thankful for a God who doesn’t isolate us and our story but connects it to those who come after us, so I choose to lay a foundation of selflessness, faith, prayer, hope and joy for my kids, grandkids and great grandkids. They may be the Davids, Solomons, Esthers, Ruths, Jeremiahs, Peters or Marys of their day and I want them to be ready when a promise that was made to me is extended to them.