Monday, October 19, 2009


Well, that title is certainly a mouthful, and most of us live lives with our “plates” full. My husband and I returned from a recent visit with our daughter, Emily, and her fiancé in Ohio. She’s a busy college student, and we decided to keep up with her crazy schedule only one day of our three-day visit. The first day, she was merciful and let us rest. Following our red-eye flight, we enjoyed a leisurely dinner with friends and went to bed early. The next day was the psycho-Homecoming day. We started with an 8 a.m. breakfast meeting – oops, that one was our idea. Then a tour of her dorm, a cookout at her fiancé’s house and a football game. After that, shopping (for the girls), hunting club (for the guys), and another cookout with all the Midwestern comfort food we could eat. Whew. (You know the really sad truth? The picture at right is 3 yrs. old...because I was so busy on the trip, I forgot to take a new picture! Yikes!) The third day - thanks to a divinely appointed dead battery in our daughter’s car - we relaxed in her dorm room and later met our son-in-law-to-be for dinner. But even while we “relaxed,” we checked out websites for the wedding and accomplished a few other tasks.

Accomplished. There it is. Why can’t we JUST relax anymore? We’re in constant motion. Even when our bodies aren’t physically going to the next location, our minds are shifting to the next idea or project – or cable channel or website. So, here’s my question. Do you picture God as busy, too? Surely, our all-knowing, omnipresent God must sit grandly on His Throne barking commands and casting lightning bolts amid the frantic, praise-paced heavenly frenzy around Him. No? Probably not. I’m guessing the omnipotent/all-powerful aspect of His character is a significant time-saver, huh? But what happens when God inserts Himself into the hustle and bustle of human existence? He did it as Jesus, but He did it earlier for Abraham…and for Sarah.

Gen. 18:1-2 – “The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.” (emphasis added)
  • Abraham was resting during the heat of the day – smart move! Then God shows up, and all sense seems to leave him. He begins hurrying. Why? Can we not serve God without over-doing it? Is the hurrying to prove our worth? To win God’s approval or favor? To look busy? Serving is great, but serving with sense and right motives is better.

Gen. 18:3-5 – “[Abraham] said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way--now that you have come to your servant.’ ‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’” (emphasis added)

  • It appears to me that Abraham is hurrying because he’s afraid God will leave if he doesn’t DO something to make Him stay. Trying to manipulate God with our service never works. We can’t know Abraham’s heart. Perhaps his motives were pure. But God’s response is clear. He not only allows Abraham’s hurried service, but “do as you say” seems to bind Abraham like a vow.

Gen. 18:6-8 – “So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.’ Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.” (emphasis added)

  • It’s right there in black and white. Abraham had servants. D-E-L-E-G-A-T-E. Abraham wasted valuable time scurrying to prepare a meal for God, when he could have been feasting on God’s presence.

Gen. 18:9-15 – “‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘There, in the tent,’ he said. Then the LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’ 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.’ Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’” (emphasis added)

  • Sarah’s QUICK response to God’s promise is a cynical laugh, and her QUICK response to God’s conviction was a fearful lie. We can’t live quickly and then expect to respond rightly, when a relationship with God requires introspection, patience and trust.

Lord, I want to live in the rhythm of heaven here on earth. I don’t have Your ability to know all, to be everywhere at once or to have power over all things; however, Your Spirit does dwell inside me. Teach me to slow down to Your tempo, not march to the clattering world around me. Help me to rest IN You, not work FOR You.

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