Sep 17

When patience runs thin—a lesson in trusting God’s promises

A Child's Drawing of Abraham for ChapelRecently in chapel we covered the story of Abram and Sarai. We talked about all the years between when they received the promise that God was going to bless them with a child, and when God finally fulfilled that promise. The children offered many insightful comments and asked great questions about why God makes people wait so long to get what he has promised them. We reviewed some of the promises that God makes us, even when it doesn’t feel like he is making good on them:

  • “God will give me everything I need” –Philippians 4:19
  • “God will give me peace when I trust God.” –Isaiah 26:3
  • “When my heart is breaking, God is especially close to me.” –Psalm 34:18
  • “God will bring me to a place where there is no crying or pain.” –Revelation 21:4
  • “God is always with me, never leaving me alone.” –Hebrews 13:5
  • “God loves me.” –John 3:16
  • “When I look for God, I will find God” –Jeremiah 29:13

We discussed how, running out of patience, Sarai laughed when the promise of a child was repeated to her yet again by angelic visitors, and how Abram sought his own way of figuring out to help God fulfill his promise, resulting in a lot of heartache.

The object lesson for the chapel gathering was a promise. I promised that if we could go on a SILENT short journey around the campus, that when we arrived I would give each person in the group a piece of candy. Once we arrived, we read the story of Abram and Sarai, and then I asked which of the children would admit that they hadn’t been silent. A few hands went up. They admitted that they didn’t fulfill their end of the promise. Like Abram and Sarai (and all of us!), they weren’t perfect. If I didn’t want to fulfill my promise to give them candy, I didn’t need to.

But, then I shared with them about God’s amazing grace and how God makes deals with us where we know and God knows we’ll never be able to live up to our end of the bargain. But, instead of getting mad and withholding good things from us, God’s heart is filled with love and compassion towards us. In short, we talked about grace through faith—trusting in God and his promises to us despite our failings.

And, each child got a piece of candy.