Saturday, January 12, 2013

Waiting...Lessons from a list (Gen. 11:20-26)

Very few like to sit through the reading of long lists. Reading lists of names, places or genealogy accounts can be bearable if we know at least one person on the list and share a story with them or are intrigued about their life.
Lessons from a list
What can a list of names tell us? Can they breath life into our lives?... with every name lies a story and so a lesson to grapple. A lesson I learnt from one such list is found in Gen 11. If you have read the bible a few times you will immediately relate, maybe rather unfavorable to genealogies...Reu begot Serug....Serug begot Nahor...Nahor begot Terah...Terah begot Abraham, Nahor and Haran (Gen 11:20-26).

I immediately noticed Terah because of his son Abraham. Abraham's story reveals a man chosen by God to birth a nation called Israel. Abraham was the one whom God promised a blessing for Israel and through him all the world was to be blessed (Gen 12). This blessing was incredible and quite confusing to Abraham but we know from History that God's promise did come true and we who are called Christians are the fruits of this blessing (Rom 4:11-24).

Although Abraham was a man favored by God, he carried a promise whose fulfillment took some waiting. Terah Abraham's father had to wait until he was 70 years to have Abraham (which was 40years more than his ancestors before him), Abraham waited 25 years for his promised son Isaac. This trend of waiting for a promise extends to other faithful men and women like Joseph (13 years before his dreams came alive), Moses (40 years before he leads Israel out of Egypt), David (15 years before he becomes king), Hannah (waited many years to have her first son Samuel), Elizabeth (Conceived John the Baptist in her old age) and the list can go on. 

In our "NOW" culture, how can we come to terms with being asked to wait for so long even as one who is favored by God. Is waiting a curse? Does it indicate that God has abandoned you or that he does not exist? Of course not! Although waiting will involve some suffering, confusion, disillusion, discouragement, depression, temptation and pain. Nevertheless waiting yields the beauty of perseverance, patience, humility, trust, compassion, faith, hope and love. Character traits which are necessary in living an abundant life (John 10:10) and which cannot be developed any other way (Rom 5:3-5). Jesus says,

"The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10)

So if waiting is a necessary friend of life, how can we learn to wait well? Like with any friendship it begins with a smile, an embrace and then a kiss which only comes with time and with a desire to come close. May each embrace and kiss refine you and reflect in you the beauty of heaven as you wait (Ps 37:7-9).


  1. I needed to read this today. Constant frustration, impatience. Like you said:
    "...Although waiting will involve some suffering, confusion, disillusion, discouragement, depression, temptation and pain. Nevertheless waiting yields the beauty of perseverance, patience, humility, trust, compassion, faith, hope and love."

  2. For a comment like yours that helps to comfort you, I will write 10,000 more thanks for taking the time to comment on here, it means a lot to me and encourages me to keep posting. Thanks Cyn

  3. sheila, this must be an inspiration from the almighty, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your words would heal many souls including mine. You have begun very strongly and refreshing. May your words help us to run the race of faith and standing firm on God's promises, no matter the circumstances prevailing around us. I pray that many would get to know this blog of yours and consider it as a pathway to grow in faith. I would be your regular guest. Meglek

  4. Thank you mum for your encouraging words and your phone call too to encourage me, it means a lot. Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting. Keep sharing your thoughts, I love to hear them.


I would love to hear your thoughts, thanks.

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