From today's devotional.
"When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were the time of discipline, not a period of God's displeasure."
I am amazed at how long Abram waited. 13 years! That is huge. I start pouting after two days. I want to be able to say that I waited as long as it took. Abram tried to help God which is why we have Ishmael. I have to admit there are many Ishmaels in my life. While they may not be real people they are there none the less.
At the end of this devotional I have to ask myself. If the Lord had given Abram his son right away, say in a year or two, would Abram have been willing to lay him on the alter? Would he have "known" Hagar and learned that he cannot do things on his own, that he must rely on God's will and timing. Would he be able to say to himself "God has promised that my decendents would be like the sand on the shore, surely I can trust him in this as I have before.
This make me, with fear and trembling, want to go through the darkness, to be strengthened. When Mercy Me's lead singer Bart Mallard recorded the song "Bring the Rain" he was asked, "Are you sure you want to sing this?" It is a fearful thing to say to God, "Do what you want, I'll take the bad with the good, test me and see if I'll praise you no matter what... help me do it, but send the rain Lord."