The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7)
We exist in a world where instant gratification is a rhythm of life. Much of our society is structured around getting us what we want as quickly as possible. However, all this makes it even more painful when we are asked to wait. Waiting for promises to be fulfilled can often feel aimless or scary.
In Genesis 12 and 15, God promised Abraham and Sarah descendants. They had assurance that they would one day have children but were asked to wait years and years before that promise would be fulfilled. As Abraham and Sarah continued to age, it grew harder and harder to believe having a child would be possible. Years passed and they began to doubt God’s promise. At one point, Abraham and Sarah even try taking things into their own hands and having descendants through sinful means. But even as Abraham and Sarah strayed, God remained faithful.
Eventually, Abraham and Sarah were forced to trust that God would do what only He could do—something miraculous. Finally, after over 20 years, “The Lord kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised.” God gave them a son, Isaac. And don’t miss this: Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, and Sarah was over 90. Sarah responds in the only way she can think of, “God has brought me laughter.” They understood that a miracle was something that only God could accomplish. Allowing Abraham and Sarah to have a baby in their old age was impossible. The news was going to baffle and surprise.
In the birth of Isaac, we see the foreshadowing of another promised Son. Thousands of years later, God would promise a Son to another woman who would not understand how it was possible. This Son would also turn tears into laughter. He would take away the sins of all who believe in Him and make a way for them to be with God. One day, in the future, He will come back and take away tears and pain and sickness forever. This promised Son is Jesus, and it is He we celebrate this season.
Today, draw a picture of a baby on your ornament to show how God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a baby even in their old age. Read Hebrews 11:11-12 and, if it’s dark enough, go outside with your family and try to count all of the stars in the sky. Pray together as a family, thanking God for reminders from His Word that He sees you and has a good plan. Ask Him for the strength to trust His timing, even when you don’t understand.