Anyone who knew me while I was growing up, was aware I wanted a horse. That’s all I thought or dreamed about from the time I was in first grade. I wanted a black horse with a white star on its forehead. In my teen years, I named my horse- to- be Kentucky Rain after the Elvis Presley song.
I begged and begged for a horse. I’m sure my parents thought I was a broken record. I would bargain with them about household chores, grades, anything I thought would make them consider getting me a horse. The only way to hush me was to say they would consider it.
I persisted in asking for a horse from the age of six until I was sixteen. In the end, my parents were right in not getting me a horse. They knew the dream was better than the reality. Once I started driving and working part time, I dropped my dream and moved onto other things. They were glad they were not stuck with a horse to care for because I was now too busy to take care of one.
I was never afraid to ask my mother or father for anything. I knew I could go to them with my requests. It doesn’t mean they were always granted, but I was heard. The same could be said for Abraham and his relationship with God. He trusted God and knew he could go to God with anything.
God told Abraham that He was going to check out Sodom and Gomorrah because He heard their sin was flagrant. If He found this to be true, He would destroy both cities. Abraham was upset. He didn’t want righteous people to perish and asked if God found fifty righteous people would He spare the cities. God agreed. Abraham went back five separate times to ask God if he would save the cities if they had 45, 40, 30, 20 and ten righteous people. God patiently agreed each time.
God knew that there weren’t ten righteous people in those towns, but he still allowed Abraham to come to Him and ask. The same can be said today. We are to boldly approach God with all our questions, requests, fears, joys and intercession for others. He will never turn us away. He wants to hear our prayers.
Our prayers connect us with God and help to build a close relationship with Him. Like my parents, He will not always give us what we ask for, but we can rest assured that He hears every word we direct at Him and will do what’s best for us.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalms 5:3
In 2012, my husband was laid off from his job. It was a shock. We knew we had to put the house on the market immediately. The real estate market changed in 2009 for the worst and had not yet recovered. Our home was above the price point of people buying at the time. I have never felt so helpless or afraid in all my life. My husband soon got a job out-of-state that paid a lot less than he had been making. I had nightmares of foreclosure and poor credit.
During the time the house was on the market, we struggled financially. We had to lower our price more than we wanted. It took nine months to finally be rid of it. The selling price just covered the mortgage. The good thing was that we walked away from it with our credit still intact and a big raise in pay because we did not have to pay for the house any more.
During that time, my husband insisted that everything would work out and called me out about my lack of faith. I prayed daily for that house to sell and struggled with my faith as time went on without a buyer. When things are out of my control, I have a hard time trusting God. But God did answer and provided a buyer – just not at the time I wanted Him to, nor in the way I had hoped, but He did come through.
The same could be said for Abraham and Sarah. They had waited for a promised son and now they were beyond child bearing age. Three strangers who were angels and one may have been a pre-incarnation of Jesus came to visit them. Abraham provided food, rest and drink for them. At that time, Sarah was 90 and Abraham 100. One of the strangers told Abraham that Sarah would bear a son, and they were to call him Isaac. Sarah overheard the conversation and laughed. She knew she was not able to physically have a child in her advanced age.
Sarah had longed for a baby during her child bearing years. I’m sure she looked forward to being a grandmother and even having great-grandchildren. But it was not to be. She was the age of a great-grandmother when she was told she was going to have a baby. It seemed preposterous to her.
The stranger who was the Lord heard her laugh and confronted her. When she was confronted, she denied it because she was afraid to admit it. But the stranger repeated back to her what she had said. He also said the most compelling thing that still resonates with me today. He said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
It is a given that we will have bad seasons and horrible situations that we don’t know how we’re going to get through. We may even have something we want badly like a spouse, children, or a better job. Sometimes, we aren’t sure God will do anything to help us, or we may think He does not care.
But He does care. Often, He doesn’t do what we expect, how we expect it, or the timing may not be ideal in our eyes. Only God can see with His eternal eyes what is best for us and our future. We are required to have faith and to believe that there’s nothing that’s too hard for Him to accomplish in our lives. There is comfort in knowing that He can do ANYTHING. Next time you are praying and feel like there is no hope, ask yourself, “Is there anything that’s too hard for the Lord?”
Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:13-14
In January 1969, Joe Namath of the New York Jets promised that he was going to win Super Bowl III. Even though he had many accomplishments to his credit as a young quarterback, when he made that promise, many thought it was cheap talk. He was voted Rookie of the Year his first season and became the first quarterback ever to throw for 4,000 yards. Despite his accomplishments, he was looked on as a fluke and an upstart with a lot of arrogance.
The NFL Baltimore Colts were considered at the time to be the best team in football and were favored to win. Namath had no trouble talking to the press about it. Several days before the game, he said that the Jets were going to win. He declared, “I guarantee it!”
Nobody took his declaration seriously. But, to the surprise of all, both the Jets’ defense and offense did a little “shock and awe” on the Baltimore Colts. With the help of his team, Namath delivered on his promise, and the Jets won the Super Bowl 16-7.
There is a saying from an anonymous source, “Make your words tasteful; you may have to eat them later.” Think of how little Joe Namath’s words would have meant if the Jets had lost. His promise backed by the win made his words true and meaningful to those who listened. How many times have you promised something and not followed through?
Our words are an indicator of our character. If we make a promise or say we are going to do something and don’t, we are evaluated by others. At the workplace, failed promises devalue us. To our friends, our lack of action tags us as unreliable or uncaring. Even in an everyday conversation, what we say reveals a little bit about who we really are.
Words are powerful. Each of us has an opportunity for lasting power and influence when we back them up with deeds. In the end, we are the ones who decide what comes out of our mouths and what becomes a reality after all is said and done.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:37