Women In The Word - OT: Day 4



Today's Text: Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 16:1-6, Genesis 17:15-19, Genesis 18:9-15, Genesis 21:1-7

Sarah, previously known in Scripture as “Sarai,” is one of the most familiar women in the Bible, memorialized in our hearts as an unspeakable beauty, the wife of Abraham and an obedient servant—a woman we desire to be. But when I peel back the layers of her story, I see someone a little closer to the woman that I am. I see a restless waiter and muddler of God’s plans, which of course, as with each of us, provides ample opportunity for Him to work. Sarah’s story is not of her triumph, but of God’s. Her story is living proof of God’s redemption, His sovereignty and miracle-working.

Like Sarah, I want to be obedient to God’s plan. I don’t just say “yes” to the things He calls me to do, I get excited about them. Fired up. A little too fired up. Because then, “fired up” becomes restless. Restless becomes impatient. Why should I wait for Him to move? Why can’t I just solve the problem myself? And just like that, I begin trading God’s plans for my plans, forfeiting the fullness of His promises for my good intentions gone wrong.

Sarai, too, grew tired of waiting for God to carry out His plan. Blaming Him for the delay, Sarai decided, as we all so often do, to take matters into her own hands:

“The Lord has kept me from having children… perhaps I can build a family….”  (Genesis 16:2, NIV)

This distrust for God’s plan and His timing, this need to take control, this manipulation of circumstances to fit our “needs” instead of His will—it is a tried and true recipe for disaster.

We may persuade others to come along in our plan instead of His. (Genesis 16:2)
We may blame everyone else for the problems that came from our own lack of faith, manipulation and insecurity. (Genesis 16:5)
We may turn from loving, trusting, faithful followers into envious and abusive schemers. (Genesis 16:6)

But then, despite our sin, comes the best part of the story. God changes everything. And more importantly, He changes us.

Though our failure to trust God’s promises makes a huge mess of things, His mercy sees us through. He looks beyond our past mistakes and present faults and redeems them for His glory. In love and mercy, He scoops us up, reclaims us as His own and gives us a new identity in Him. He takes us from Sarai, the self-made noblewoman, to Sarah, His chosen princess (Genesis 17:15-17).

Even spiritually transformed women will have imperfect faith; we will have moments of distrust and hesitation. Like Sarah, there will be times when God’s glory is right outside our door, yet we’ll choose to stay inside the tent. There will be days when we hear the clear promises of God and laugh in disbelief (Genesis 18:9-12).

Still, our heavenly Father will respond. He will wait with us and sustain us. He will turn our restlessness into rest in Him. He who has already put miracles in motion in your life will be faithful to see them through (Philippians 1:6).

Well into her nineties, Sarah became a mother. She brought forth the seed that would ultimately lead to Christ, and she leaves us a legacy of faith that’s imperfect, but real.

Sarah learned, and we get to learn alongside her, that nothing—no matter how improbable, impossible or incredible—nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Sarah Matheny is an ever-growing, ever-changing gal, laughing and living in the Pacific Northwest. One-time attorney, food blogger, and author, all-the-time wife and mom to three wild-eyed, spunky girly girls, she’s passionate about her family, her friends and growing in her walk with Christ as He dishes up an always unpredictable, but totally delicious life.

  • Brittney Ford

    What resonates most in my heart about this devotional is that Sarah is so many of us. Sarai at first. Independent, proud, and let’s be honest kind of stubborn. But God. His love is so deep and understanding. He knows that some of us have to see not so much for ourselves but so His will can be carried out.

  • Abby Schieber

    Oh my gosh. Going into this, I thought that I wouldn’t get anything out of this at all. Growing up as a Pastor’s kid and going to Christian school, I always hated whenever we were taught about Sarah because she didn’t trust God. I didn’t want to be like her. Reading this study and going deeper into the Word made me realize I am exactly like her. I was everything to be done now. I don’t want to wait. And if I wait even a little bit, I feel like God doesn’t know what He’s doing, or that He’s abandoned me. And at this moment in my life, God is very clearly teaching me patience and I think it’s funny that He had me read this particular devotion about Sarah to tell me to be patient. I am working very hard on making sure that I practice patience and that I become aware of when I am being impatient.

  • Shelby Miller

    This is too good. At first I was thinking ‘pshhhh, that wouldn’t be something I would do’ and then realized it’s EXACTLY what I did. Sarah needed to see her dream come true, not God’s dreams. It’s so hard not to go from waiting on the Lord to Restless. I know I’ll be more aware of it now, especially after reading this.

    • Bria E

      That’s the one that got me too! I get so fired up when God gives me an idea or design, then I end up turning restless because I want to see the final product. Learning to be patient with God’s timing is a process.

  • I love the idea of being transformed from my selfish fearful self to one that God uses to glorify himself! What an amazing victory for God. I can, because of God’s great patience, overcome my sinful nature & past and stand confident as His daughter. Sarah was able to be real with her doubts & faithlessness. God still believed in her and was able to use her for greatness. That’s so refreshing to me!

  • Sarah is one of my favorite women in the Bible. I feel like I can truly relate to her in so many ways. I love to “control” things- Sarah was great at trying to do that. I also have little patience to wait for God to work things in my life. I feel like I can just “make it happen” instead. This is something that God is working on with me- but- it is so nice being able to read a story in scripture that shows God really is at work in us. All. The. Time.

  • This absolutely rocked me. The written insight was extremely well articulated in a powerful way. Very very grateful to be a part of this study and you ladies!

  • I loved and needed this today, thank you! ❤️

  • Dulcie Raspberry

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  • Becky Thompson

    This story always reminds me of a statement one of my pastors regularly made: WHEN God does something is as important as WHAT He does.

  • God commanded me to do something and I’m so lost and frustrated over it… when I obeyed I felt like I would never get the thing I want. But God has a plan and Sarah reminds me even if I’m totally flabbergasted as to the how, God can and will deliver. God I’m sorry I’m so frustrated this week. I feel like an impatient teenager who isn’t allowed to go the party. But like a good Father on earth I know your wisdom trumps mine, and that your plan is better than anything I could dream up or accomplish on my own. Please fortify me to faithfully obey and trust your plan, however unclear it may be to me now. Thank you for the beautiful women who put together this reading and devotional, which blesses myself and so many others. Amen.

  • Bronwyn W

    I love how steady and gentle God is with us when we’re fussy, like Sarah was when she tried to get a son on her own terms. A true father, He looks at us kindly and almost asking, “Well, how’d that work out for you my child?” God is so good

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  • Reading this gave me comfort. Lately I have caught myself doing exactly what Sarah did- I became impatient in waiting for the Lord to bring a man into my life, one who will love me as Jesus loves the church. In taking my will back I allowed myself a distance between myself and the Lord, and still He loves me all the same. His grace and mercy continue to overwhelm me. I used to have such a misunderstanding of God- believing that He held my past and current faults against me. Now I know that He does quite the opposite and wants to see His children learn, grow, and to feel His unending, unconditional love always.

  • Mary Beth

    I’ve never thought of Sarah in a very favorable light before, honestly her treatment of Hagar is pretty despicable, but reading through this made me realize that perhaps (somewhat to my horror) she and I are in some ways a lot alike. The faults of Sarah were her distrust and pride. How often do I fall into these traps as well? How often do I allow my impatience with God to turn into arrogance – that He is no longer needed, that I can do things on my own? More often than I’d like to admit. A lot of this for women like you and I (and Sarah it would seem) stems from our desire for control. We need to orchestrate things; as women we are expected to have everything under control – to be calm, cool, collected. The pressure can easily and quickly lead us to fall into the trap of total self-reliance, removed from dependency on God. But here in Sarah’s story we see that even in that mindset God can still work wonders in us – after all that is the miracle of His grace and life within us. How great is our God?

  • Help me not to be so restless and chance and challenge Gods plan. Let me recognise when the Lord is waiting with me too.

  • I had a lot of notes to add to this one. I think mainly because I, like many others have said,

    • Kasie

      … am a control freak. This is my current battle, and one of the driving forces for me taking up this devotional plan. I long to be a more dutiful spouse and relinquish control to the man of the house. It is one of the major issues in our relationship. When I read the part about how Sarai instructed Abraham to lay with her servant then got angry once the servant became pregnant, I thought that sounded very much like something I would do. Give instructions but once those instructions were carried out and I didn’t like the result, I would get angry and find fault in others.

  • I struggle with the waiting and the not knowing what God’s plan is. It is encouraging to know that God faithful.

  • Some important things I learned from this is that even faithful people can doubt sometimes. And we can also undermine the things that God can truly do for us. In reality, God is in control and nothing is impossible for him. We just have to be patient and walk with him and trust that he will lead us in the right path

  • I’m such a OCD control freak & I really had to learn how to let go and let God !

  • I’m such a control freak and I’m finding that out about myself more and more each day. But the one area in my life where I refuse to let that affect me is in my walk with Christ. No, I’m not perfect and YES, I do sometimes still find myself trying to outsmart God but after so long and so many trials you eventually give up. You wear yourself out trying to “figure it out” instead of simply saying “okay God. You got this.” It’s so comforting to know that I’m taken care of in every aspect of my life everyday by such a big God and He does it all out of raw, pure love.

  • Andrea Z.

    Fired-up becomes restless. And restless becomes impatient. I know I’ve gone down that road many times! Sometimes my impatience will lead to taking”action” — which never works out well — and sometimes my impatience will lead to an overwhelming amount of thoughts that take over my mind. But resting in the restlessness is what I’m called to so. Because I know that I know that I know, God is always faithful.

  • Brittany

    No Sarah and I are one in the same sometimes, who hasn’t thought, “Why wait when I can do it myself?” And then as soon as you try to do it by yourself, everything g tumbles down. Such a relatable devotional, thank you!

  • Oh how often I am Sarah! I want to fix the things I want even when I clearly see God working in me. Why can’t I just sit back & wait faithfully to see his tapestry unfold!

  • Kierstyn

    I am sarah. I feel like this post is for me. I am 23 and I’ve never had a Godly relationship. All I’ve ever wanted is to be a wife and a mother, but I had grown angry with God for not giving it to me in MY time. I don’t want to wait, I want it NOW. This devotional comes in a time of my life when my family says “oh when you’re married” and I laugh and say “yeah if I ever get married”.
    This passage has made me realize that I need to rest even when I am restless, I need to rest in God because his promises are true. He knows what is best and he has something better than I can even imagine!

    • Katy

      Kierstyn, I was in the same place as you at the same age! All around me friends were and family were getting engaged and I was still single-so nowhere close to that! Then one day the Lord told me He wouldn’t let me fall in love with anyone else before I had truly fallen in love with Him and that changed everything (I used to fall in love at the drop of a hat, I was in love with being in love). So I spent time getting to know Him more, letting Him slowly change me, I fell so in love with Him that only a Godly man was worthy of my love and would understand that I would always put my relationship with the Lord over everyone and everything else! Then, at the age of 27 when I was totally content with my life -and still single- I met someone at my best friends wedding and we were engaged 5 months later and one year after meeting we were married. We celebrate 16 years this year and have two beautiful kids and a marriage that grows stronger every year (not that it’s been a walk in the park!) If I had met him any sooner it wouldn’t have worked out for many reasons, remember God loves your future husband as much as He loves you and needs you to fit for each other, to complement each other and come together as one. The waiting is the most important thing, let Him love you and spend time with you and wait patiently for that Godly man He has planned for you!

    • Kelli

      Kierstyn- I’m 22 and in the exact same boat. It’s hard- it’s so hard. But I too am learning to find rest in Gods perfect timing and that I need to be completely in love with my Lord and Savior first before I can even try to love a man the way wives are called to love and serve their husbands! God knows and He’s teaching me to be content and just walk with Him and focus on loving Him and serving Him. It’s not easy, especially with friends around me getting married and engaged and announcing upcoming arrivals of little ones. That is the desire God has laid on my heart- to be a wife and a mama. But I know I need to be obedient to Him first and not get ahead of His plans for me.

    • Abigail

      Kierstyn- how comforting it is to hear others with the same struggles/desires… yet how much more comforting is it for us to have the same hope in The Lord & his faithfulness!

  • God’s timing is so good. I woke up this morning thinking impatiently about how I could afford to get married right after I graduate college. Everyone around me is getting engaged, and I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years already. I find myself all the time trying to figure out how I can get married as soon as possible. I wanted to read something to take my mind off that, and this was so much more than that! God completely changed my heart on the issue as I realized I wasn’t trusting his beautiful plan, but taking control of my life.

  • This story. These promises. I’m clinging to our God who fulfills promises and who changes us even when we do not deserve it. I too am Sarah and struggling with infertility. So many times I’ve tried to take things into my own hands but this morning I’m reminded that God’s timing is perfect. I chose to be patient. I allow him to change me. His Will be done.

  • Nikravesous

    I love this study and need it right now more than ever. My husband and I are just recovering from the miscarriage of our first baby and I am so tempted to be impatient with the Lord and His timing for our family. Though I’m only 25 I feel time slipping away and want to be producing babies pronto! But God calls me to be patient and wait on His plan, not interfere and try to impose my own schedule on things. Thank you for this study, SRT, and thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes to it!

    • Dani

      I know you wrote this 6 months ago, but I wanted to respond anyway. I was exactly in your boat a year ago yesterday. We lost our first little one to miscarriage. I was heartbroken and devastated. I became a “Sarah” of sorts-doubtful and hurt that the Lord’s timing had not been my own. He did pull me out of the pit of despair, and He will you too, sweet friend. Praying for peace and blessings for you and your hubby.

  • As this amazing story pertains to every woman, I find special meaning in it as I share a name with Sarah. There is an immense amount of peace that comes when I read “…the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised” in Genesis 21. Of course, any name can be plugged in here, but I read it as God speaking directly towards me and assuring his secure plans and promises for my life. There are so many times when I either don’t see God’s plan in front of me and get tired of waiting and decide to just do things my own way, or I just ignore his plans. However, as we see from this story and many others, that never goes as planned when God has something different! I love Sarah’s story because it allows me to take a moment, pause, and see where I am holding the reigns in my life. I am encouraging to give everything FULLY to God, as nothing is too hard for God!

  • Hoping in my current situation I wait on God and not rush.

    • Maira Rodriguez

      You & I both Stella. I pray we cling tightly to His promises yet quietly to hear The Holy Spirit’s direction. Lord remove any distractions so that we my follow your lead. Father, thank you for protecting us and may we heed warnings as the enemy attempts to fool us into wrongdoing.

  • Tonya Hassell

    I appreciate your openness Lyndee! Thanks for sharing! I am definitely not a woman who holds the world’s definition of “feminist views” but I have struggled with a bit of what you said. I always wondered how I was supposed to grow and how God wanted me to live if all I ever read about in His word were men! Then, I began seeking out books like Ruth and Esther and searching God’s word for what He had to say specifically to women! What I discovered left me feeling, not worthless or less important but loved and precious.
    Our role and design were created to be different than a man. Our “power” and “leadership” look different as well but are equally, if not more, impacting at times!!
    Maybe Abraham didn’t laugh, maybe he sobbed, maybe he stood in there wide-eyed! Who knows? God saw it fit to just include that Sarah laughed! As Mom to 4 children I’m impressed that she was laughing about becoming a mother at 99 or 98, whichever!! :) She had waited her whole life aching for that moment, and God blessed her, in the way and at a time she least expected!
    God values us, His creation, so much!! Our place and role in His creation is equally beautiful as a man’s, it’s just different!! I hope this encourages you and that you seek out women and our role in scripture!! Francie Rivers also wrote some neat stories on women in the lineage of Christ. Those are great too! :)

  • Lyndee Talbitzer

    I know in this study we are focusing on the women in the story, but did anyone else wonder why God never said anything about Abram laughing? As someone with very strong feminist views it can be difficult for me to read bible stories sometimes because I feel like many times the women get the short end of the stick or almost worst, there is little to nothing said about them (which is one of the main reasons I chose this study). I know that this is more of a reflection of the historical time period and culture views, and really has nothing to do with God’s love for us, but it still bothers me slightly. (I’m mostly talking about the bible in general and not just this story because clearly God does say he will bless Sarah and shows grace and forgiveness towards her). I guess my point of this all is to see if anyone else feels this way and how they are able to open their mind and hearts to see past it. I’ve been talking to God and asking for his help, but I figured someone here might be able to help too :)

    • Rebecca

      Thanks for sharing! For me, I try and remind myself that just because it isn’t recorded doesn’t mean that God didn’t do/say something. But for some reason He wanted these certain details to be in His Word. And when we look at how many women are elevated in Scripture, in conjunction with their cultural context, the Bible has some “radical” things in it, compared to the way women were viewed in Biblical times.

    • Nikravesous

      I have been in the same boat as you, Lyndee, especially when I first came to faith I sincerely struggled to reconcile what I viewed as an issue between my feminist world view and the Word in the Scriptures. There are a lot of good resources out there, and none better than finding an older, more mature woman believer with whom you can talk, but the book “Does Christianity Squash Women?” By Rebecca Jones is one that helped me. Also, any nonfiction work by Dorothy Sayers.

      As to Abraham laughing, none of us can know why God did not address his laugh when he acknowledged Sarah’s later on, it could have been that the attitude of their hearts was different or that God rebuked Abraham for placing Ishmael above God’s promised child and did not see fit to rebuke him for laughing as well… We just don’t know. But God knows, and we can trust that He had the best reaction possible in both cases. I pray that God shows you how His Word values and shows love to women in a way that the world and modern feminism never could and brings peace to our heart on this issue.

  • I so appreciate all of these comments! They helped me to realize how often I think the same way Sarah did and I try to take matters into my own hands when it comes to getting married. I know God doesn’t promise that I will be married, nor that I need to be in order to be happy, but through that desire I have doubted His promises that He has already blessed me with every blessing in the healvenly realms. I try to fulfill that promise in my own way instead of trusting the Lord.

  • Lord- give me patients to not rush your plans with my impatience ways. -Amen

  • I am so thankful that God is a God of do-overs and second chances. I am thankful that our failures do not thwart His plans.
    I am SO thankful that Nothing is too hard for Him. I have to know and believe that for my prodigal son as well.

  • I am so guilty of turning my excitement into being impatient and turning Gods plans into my own. Needed this today! Thank you

  • Amazing, just what I needed today.

  • Carissa Cady

    This was just what I needed.

  • That’s was perfect for me today. Sometimes we doubt Gods plan and authority. Our flesh gets in the way, but he never leaves us. He keeps teaching and growing us at every turn. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sarah :)

  • Amen!! Need to hear this today. Thank you Heavenly Father that you alone are faithful, even when we make a mess of things or don’t know how to take the next step. ❤️

  • I never saw Sarah’s story like this before! I never identified with her. I can’t imagine offering my husband to another woman for the sake of children?! What was it like to live in that time period without the written word??? I would be ashamed. Thankful for how blogger Sarah helps me relate to her because I definitely try to take gods plans into my own hands and just “handle it”. With the feeling that I’m taking control of my life.

  • Caitlyn Mae

    This story used to make me so angry. Hagar was a slave who was forced into this situation, bore a son (who became the first of the Arabic people), and was driven away. I never could understand why it all happened so that now- thousands of years later- we still have the constant power struggle between the descendants of two half-brothers…. But then I remembered something: God always fulfills His promises. God never told Abraham, “I’ll give you a kid through a woman who isn’t your wife after your wife loses faith in Me.” He simply told Abraham, “You WILL have a son.” Why couldn’t God carry out the Messianic line through Ishmael? Because that was not His promise. He never contradicts Himself, ever. Loved this post!

  • Rachel Sekuras

    You ladies are a wonderful encourage to me this morning! I love this community and wish we could meet up for coffee. Lauren thanks for your vulnerability and question!
    On the thoughts of Sarah mistreating Hagar, it’s so hard for me to remember that NO sin is worse than another. We don’t have to commit a sin to be a sinner already.
    So I could have mistreated my slave, or told a white lie, killed a person, or thought a disrespectful thought towards my husband and all are the same! And yet, God blesses us. It blows my mind and humbles me and keeps me coming back for more.
    Love all of you!

  • Being reminded of Sarah’s faults, disobedience, and deliberate mockery, gives me hope that my God can still use ME despite the way I’ve treated Him.
    None of us are perfect.
    But ALL of us have been redeemed by His blood.
    God grants “do-overs”.
    We learn from our failures, and find God in the midst of our circumstances, even when we’ve created the worst possible outcome ourselves. Sarah tried to do things her way, but God got her back and was able to use her.
    I pray that I allow God to use me!

  • This is a picture of the grace of God. In the same way, why should Jesus have died for me even though I’ve sinned so much? But God blessed us when we deserve punishment because of His grace, mercy, and consuming love, just like He did with Sarah

  • Oh interesting I had never heard it out this way before

  • I can’t get past this. The scripture said that Sarah mistreated her slave, Hagar, to the point where she fled from her. Right after that God blessed Sarah. I know sometimes God blesses us in spite of our sins, but it really stumps me that she has been known as a Godly woman. Can someone shed light on this for me?

    • Kelsey T

      Any person that is considered Godly are still just people with sin in their lives. Look at King David, for example. God called him a man after his own heart, even after he committed adultery and murder. God’s grace does not stop after certain sins, but it extends past our sin, and a lot of times it doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to have sympathy for Sarah, but I look at my own life and see how many blessings God has given me, even after I’ve sinned against him and others. How many times have I mistreated someone, yet God has still filled my life with so much that I don’t deserve?

    • Sara

      Lauren: A couple of notes in my study bible might shed some light on you question. It says:

      Why did Hagar despise Sarai? (Gen 16:4)
      Hagar realized that she was doing for her master what her mistress could not do. So she felt superior to Sarai and began to despise her. Hammurapi’s code (an ancient legal system that spelled out procedures for this matter) anticipated such feelings and said that the servant who bore children should be punished if she presumed to be equal to her mistress.

      Did Hagar deserve the treatment she received? (Gen 16:6-9)
      In one sense, yes. God usually permits the law of the land to prevail, and in this case, God allowed Hagar to suffer for her superior attitude toward Sarai. Yet God cared compassionately for Hagar and her son. In fact, he blessed her with a promise remarkably like the one he made to Abram.

      Hope this helps!

    • Erica Posey

      Lauren, I felt exactly the same way. Even so, when Sarah laughs at God! Why should he bless her if she is so sinful!

    • Alaina

      I thought the same thing and would love to hear others thoughts!

      • Christa

        I also thought it strange until I read Kelsey’s comment, and it really put perspective and clarity on the situation.

    • Doris

      Lauren. I think a key point is that this was before she was Sarah, she was Sarai, God takes us from ungodly and makes us Godly, “and yet while we were sinners Christ died for us”. we are being transformed into His likeness, an ongoing process. I always felt sorry for Hagar but you have to remember that Ishmael brought descendants that to this day enemies of Gods chosen people, God uses all for the good but would be better being spared the hard road.
      godly is also a position I believe being owned by God. Sarah did come to trust God, look at what Positions she was in when Abraham lies to those king , she could have died or have had to sleep with them. But she trusted God even through her husbands bad decisions and God preserved her because of her trust in God

  • Sarah… Whenever I feel like muddling God’s plans, I always remember her. I always wonder if Sarah could have seen what her decision will result in thousands of years later, had she done everything she did.

  • I mean loving

  • Nikki Ticzon

    Hello everyone! I’m joining the conversation late. A friend of mine told me about this, and even though I’m starting really late, I’m catching up!

    I love the story of Abraham and Sarah! I’m so thankful for this reading though because I’ve never focused on Sarai before. I’ve always been the impulsive, raw version of myself who does what she wants when she wants and always functions on her own terms. Well, at this point in my life, God has other plans. My life is very much on my son’s timeline now, and it’s been hard to let go of my own timeline for myself. When I read Sarah’s story again, I realized that SO many more blessings and opportunities are available through God! It’s going to take quite a bit of time and patience on my part, but I deserve to let God work in His ways. Because of Sarah’s story, I’ve realized that letting go and letting God is a much more fulfilling way of life.

    • Olivia

      That’s ok I’m starting late too! How are you liking it so far? I’m living getting to chat with other people and just getting to read scripture.

  • Ashlee Overdick

    “A muddler of God’s plans,”! That description is so apt, it almost felt like it hit me right between the eyes! As I read Sarah’s story, I found myself thinking (as I have at other times in scripture), ‘Yeah, but how lucky was Sarah!? If I had God standing right outside my door, audibly discussing his plans for my husband and I, I would definitely have more faith in such-and-such circumstance.’ I often feel like I’m just not “good” at hearing God, and that if I could just audibly hear his voice, it would solve all my frustrations. As though I’d then fold my hands and wait patiently, no problem at all. In my head, I know it’s not true, but my heart still wants something more concrete to go on, before I surrender or something…
    But reading this account, I was suddenly struck by the memory of a verse that was shared in the introduction week: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Heb 4:12
    And then, with the verse John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”.
    I suddenly realized how much I take for granted the WEIGHT, the assurance, the power of scripture itself! If all scripture is “breathed out” by God (2 Tim 3:16), and if, in some wondrous way that is not fully comprehensible this side of heaven, Jesus IS the word, then that alone makes it just as legitemate, just as sure, just as “real” as any audible word he utters. How could I have been thinking that I needed more? That I would be more certain of his will if it were spoken?
    What’s more, I’m not sure that I’ve ever carefully thought about the nature of faith and relationship to God in the pre-crucifixion world of Sarah. Not only were she and Abraham without any specific knowledge of Jesus and what God’s salvation would look like directly, they were without any written historical interactions with him. No history of God’s character, beyond oral accounts of Adam and Noah and so forth passed down. Clearly God had communicated enough of himself and turned their hearts to faith, but the wealth of what we know of God’s grace, mercy, self-sacrifice and fatherhood was just beginning to be laid out to them. I feel like I’m seeing my bible with new eyes! What a treasure scripture becomes to me when I think of how much of God it reveals and what it would have been like to not have it. I’ve always thought at the back of my mind that the people of the OT had a kind of advantage, having God perform gigantic miracles, show up in physical forms or speak audible messages, but perhaps Sarah had a disadvantage of sorts? Though she could hear God speaking, we now have thousands of years of God’s faithfulness laid out in detail to marvel at. I’m so glad I’ve begun this study! It’s already doing so much to reveal God’s character to me!

    Sorry for such a long post, but I got so excited!!! Ha ha

    • Kylie

      Thank you for this post Ashlee. What a treasure we have in God’s word. I don’t want to take it for granted any longer.

    • Jessica Bethel

      No thank you! I feel very similar to this and you helped me to understand my feelings also.

    • Maddie

      This was so encouraging for me to read Ashlee! I struggle with the exact same thing and I’ve never ever thought of it this way before! Thank you so much for sharing you have no idea how much this has helped me! God totally used you today in my life:)

  • Chelsea Smith

    I struggle to sympathize with Sarah. I understand impatience, don’t get me wrong, but acting so harshly with a woman she oppressed and forced into marriage with her husband is gut-wrenching. Seeing God’s faithfulness to her after such thoughtless and heartless acts amplifies God’s grace and promises even more to me. I want to say Sarah doesn’t deserve God’s promise, but none of us do. I’m seeing more of myself in the raw, impulsive Sarah than the version of her we glorify.

  • Lynda Parker

    I just love Sarah and tat she laughed . How many times are we laughing in disbelief? Yet He still loves her!!

  • Mary Beth

    So thankful that God’s plans are not dependent on how much faith and patience I can have–because I suck at both!! It was 25 years from the time that God gave Abraham the promise that He would make him a great nation that it would actually be fulfilled in the birth of his son Isaac. Thankful that during that interim, God still would show up and keep encouraging Abraham and Sarah to believe. He’ll keep coming to us. He’ll keep reminding us at just the right times. He loves us and delights in this journey with us.

  • Our home was for sale for 18 months. Two offers that fell through and needless to say, the longest faith building trial of our families life. Gods timing WAS perfect and all the doors opened. I almost “laughed” like Sarah when things started to exist from nothing. From jobs to our dream house with every aspect that we needed. I tell you, my friends, god is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL we can ask or think!

  • Courtneyekema

    I recently moved across the country because I felt God was leading me to do so. I still feel that way, but throughout these last few months I feel like he’s been testing me, seeing how I’ll react when things aren’t perfect. I am not stranger to pain and suffering, but throughout those experiences I ran from God out of angry and distrust. Since then, thankfully, God has been faithful in the pursuit of my heart, and hasn’t left me once. I believe now he is testing my faith again. My first human reaction is to run, since it is a familiar path for me, but I no longer want that life. The life of running further into my own pit of distrust. I’m sick of filling my broken parts with false idols. I need prayer for my heart; pray that I’ll continue to trust and love and believe that God’s plan is the best thing for me, even through all of His testing. I am strong enough, but only through Him.

  • I love God’s timing. I’m about to go through several major life changes. I’m nervous, scared, and want to take control. This was just what I needed to remind me again that God is in control and can do all things.

  • Juliefay

    She laughed. She laughed because she thought that were crazy! She would never believe something would happen like this on her own. The impossible happened weather she had faith or not…sometimes I think I can only expect a miracle if I have enough faith or have all my shit together and feel like he will act because I believe…he acts anyways!!!! He acts because he is God. He has his way and we can laugh but he will have it. He will astound us again and again. We have to expect miracles…we have to see how he is communicating with us every moment! He is!

  • I think it is a wonderful part of God’s plan that He is using a community like SRT to help each other in our struggles, to His glory. Thank you all for caring so much.

  • I’m so behind on my reading but this devotional touched me in so many ways. Reminding me of all that I miss when I choose to not be in the Word. Lord forgive me. But I am amazed that even after Sarai disobeyed God and rushed ahead of him, He did not change the plan and promise He made. He still delivered and fulfilled his plan!


    I am just so grateful for this passage of scripture and I am grateful that this applies to me. I know in many areas of my life I have ran ahead of you or blatantly disregarded what you called me to do. But yet you remained faithful to me and your plan for my life. Thank you God. Thank you so much for your grace and mercy in my life. Thank you! Forgive me for my sins and failures, forgive me for my lack of a consistent prayer life. Forgive me for everything I’ve allowed to pull me from this place. Thank you for loving me in spite of, and I am so elated that your plans never fail!

    In Jesus Name

    • Jamie

      Kendra, your prayer is exactly what I want to pray! I am praying it with you and praising God for his abundant grace and mercy!

  • I dont understand what God has planned for me. I never hear God talking to me or showing me what he has in store. How am I suppose to wait for his direction and plan if I don't hear him? I know how I want my life to turn out but how do I know if its his plan?

    And if nothing is too hard for him, why didn't he heal my dad? why did he let my dad die? What good can come from this?

    • Jessica

      God doesn’t speak to us in an audible way the way you feel it should be. Not saying that he can’t of course he could he is God. Once Jesus came to die for us he gave us the Holy Spirit to help guide us. In saying all this. The way we hear God speaking to us is by being in the word. It’s where he has wrote down everything that he thinks and feels so that we can understand him as much as possible. If you want to know what God has planned for you you must first choose to have faith and believe that Jesus Christ has died on the cross for your sins. It is the only way to the father himself if you don’t know his son he doesn’t know you. If you’ve accepted Christ that he came to the earth and died on the cross for your sins and rose again 3 days later then you have received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be the one who guides you. He is going to be the part inside your heart that helps you understand right from wrong and will help guide you in your steps. He doesn’t tell you what to do like your a robot. He shows you in ways that sometimes you’d never had thought. As for your dad dying we don’t know why some people live and some people die. We are in a fallen world. We are in a place where satan tries to rule the world. We also aren’t God. He has his reasons. We will never know why someone didn’t survive until we can ask him someday. BUT in the mean time God says in his world… I make all things to work together for Good. Romans 8:28. There is some reason we may not understand now and why but for some reason it makes sense in Gods perfect plan as to why your dad was taken. Maybe it’s for this very reason that it’s making you search for the answers. In doing that you will become closer to him if you truly do search for him in the way your searching for him that I can see in your question. If your wanting to find the answers to your questions your first step is to pursue Him by being in the only place you can pursue him and that’s the bible. keep asking and he will show you his ways stay in the word and seek who he is. If you are not yet a Christian and haven’t accepted Christ as your personal savior you should look into a book called so great a salvation by Charles Ryrie. http://www.amazon.com/So-Great-Salvation-Believe-Christ/dp/0802478182. It’s an excellent book that talks about what salvation is and why we need it. Good luck I’ll be praying for you @KaC. Hugs to you. Can understand your exact feelings.

    • Sally

      Esther also questions her existence like Sarah. And like you question your dad’s death. Others may disagree, but I don’t think God “let your dad die”. That path was determined long before we were here. In Esther, her uncle reminds her that we do not know what the Lord has in store for us. I am able to take comfort in that. Just like Sarah was able to do. And Esther. It’s not easy. And we may not like it. But his plan is always greater than our plan. Read Esther, and the Beth Moore Bible study of the same name, and I pray you find comfort in her as a kindred spirit. I will pray for your broken heart.

  • Oh how I can relate to Sarah. Doing what I can in my own strength. Not seeing past my finite abilities and remembering that with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26). For me I think not only was Sarah impatient but she also couldn’t see past her physical boundaries. She was older and way past childbearing years. Do we look at worldly truths as our boundary and forget that with faith we can move mountains? In what ways is my earthly mind limiting God? Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.

    • Constance

      Yes! Love your comment! Lord, help us to remember what a mighty God we serve- capable of redeeming us from any “hopeless” situation!

  • "He will turn our restlessness into rest in Him."

    • Carrie

      I woke up way to early because I was restless about Gods plan in my life. This line jumped out at me too. I pray that I can rest in God’s will and promises.

  • travelinglite

    “The supreme example of God fulfilling his promises amid what appears to be his utter absence is the cross of Christ. Here, if ever, it seemed that Satan was winning. Yet it was precisely here that God was at work to decisively fulfill his promises to his people.” -Gospel Transformation Study Bible on Genesis 16

  • I can’t tell you how much this study of Sarah today touched my heart. Soooo good.

    And Sarah Matheny, I was thrilled to see you wrote this post. I hope all is going well with you and your THREE kiddos! Miss your blog and you.

  • This came just in time. Even when we don’t believe, when we don’t hold onto him, he will never miss a promise. His loyalty for his people is beautiful and makes me want to fall on my knees and just apologize for not being loyal to him as well. His steadfast love for me fills my heart with grattitude. May we live under his dependence.

  • This is my first reading plan. And I’m loving it so far. I didn’t laugh at God’s promise but I sometime have doubts. Not doubts that he can’t do it but doubts that he won’t do it for me.

    • Regina Marie

      I ferl the same way. But Sarah’s story comforts me, knowing that our conditions or circumstances doesn’t matter to God fulfilling His promises and plans for our lives. Nothing is truly too hard for Him.

  • Lins Rankin

    Wow! I love this reading. I am a Sarah despite my best efforts to trust The Lord. I get very caught up in working full time, having 5 kids and a military husband that I find I often try to control every situation and without fail God reminds me time again that his will be done, I can either laugh at him like Sarah did or I can trust in him and enjoy this wonderful journey he has planned for my family and I. I choose trust. I am making the choice to give it to God.


    I can honestly say that I’ve been Sarah a lot lately in the last 5 years. I heard a promise for God & when it didn’t happen when & as I wanted it I made some choices that were not within His. Needless to say the promise has not come to pass as of yet; however, I’m trying to wait patiently on the Lord for what’s in His will for my life.

  • This was such a great devo! I learned so much from todays story of Sarah, and I've been going to church my whole life. I've never thought so much about how Sarah acted on her own and what those moments of her life must have been life.
    I can relate to a lot of what she was probably going through. It is so hard to wait on the Lord. My head knows that His timing is best buy my heart is having a harder time understanding. These kinds of examples of God working in amazing ways in peoples lives are so helpful and encouraging to me.

  • I am blown away by how different the women are of the past two days of this study. We look at Noah’s wife and her champion patience and faith in God’s plan. And then we look at Sarah, and her impatience in God’s plan; thus pushing her own agenda forward. The amazing thing is, God was there and present with both women. He was faithful to Noah’s wife, just as he was to Sarah. His love for them the same. Praying for more patience like Noah’s wife this day…

  • I’ve been struggling with going off depression meds bc in pregnant and have been feeling helpless about dealing with the emotions that have come back…I needed to hear that God can do anything

    • Crystal

      Yes He can, Dani <3 stay encouraged :)

    • Carissa

      Saying a prayer for you now. I worked thru depression and grief and was also on meds. journaling by writing down the negative feelings and then writing down and proclaiming the truths of God that need to take over instead has helped me with my depressive and anxious thoughts. Just an idea. God will never give up, His love is steadfast. Psalm 63:8; cling to him, His strong right hand holds you securely.

  • I whole-heartedly relate to Sarah's story; I too struggle with patience. These last few months help me realize we are on God's timing not our own.

  • The last three years have been a period of grief and waiting for me. While I’ve read these passages many times over the years, today it resonated with me quite powerfully. Sarah’s narrative is living proof of God’s redemption, His sovereignty, and miracle-working in her life. I rest in that knowledge and continue to hope the same for myself.

  • Sarah laughed at God and then denied laughing! Wow how many times have I done this? May my heart be pure and clean to accepting God’s plan for my for my life. May my laughter be in honor and pure joy for Him and not at Him.

  • AJ Freibott

    This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you for the reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness even in my impatience.

  • Lindsey Sanders

    I love the story of Abraham and Sarah! It reminds me that there is nothing too hard for my God, but I must trust His promises! My husband and I have been trying for some time to have a child and have had two pregnancies end in miscarriage. I am reminded through this story that age is only a number and if God says it will be, it will be! I trust God is going to honor our prayers and bless us with a child in His timing!

  • Oh my, I’m so much like Sarai…..impatient, thinking my way is the better way, disbelieving. Lord, teach me to laugh at myself…not at You.

  • Kasey Summers

    So thankful for my new identity in Christ!! Redeemed! Changed!! Being transformed! Set free from bondage! JOY!

  • JulieC21

    I love that Sarah laughs at the Lord's plan for her, because I think the Lord was laughing at her attempt to fix the situation! What we see as logical is often the longest way around an obstacle in our path.

  • Tammster

    Always take Gods word seriously, because he will always get the last laugh!

  • Shannan Hayes

    Is it possible to get the daily study on Facebook sent to me? I really liked the June 4, posted by a friend. Thank you!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Shannan,
      We post links daily to Facebook, and you are also welcome to sign up for email subscription here: shereadstruth.com/subscribe.

      I hope this helps!


  • Beautiful. Poignant. Needed.
    Thank you.

  • Cara Mae

    I love the truth contained in the sentence "she leaves us a legacy of faith that's imperfect, built real." Far too often I separate myself and my current trials or failures from the women in the Word. But today, again, I see the beautiful humanity in Sarah and such goodness in our God. His timing is impossible to figure out, we are all waiting for some part of the vision He's given us, and I pray I will grow in faith while waiting even more.

  • Timmarie

    My daily struggle: trust vs control
    Being a stay-at-home-mom, I am in constant control to suffice the needs of my 3 babies…but I must trust with my first born going to school this fall that she’s in His hands. I must trust that my children will make right decisions wherever they go. I must trust that we can financially continue in this journey.

    • Jeray

      This is a hard struggle. But God will bless your decision to trust in Him. Your daughter will be fine. No matter the path we choose; public or private school or home school. These kids begin their own journey with God you are there to guide them in the ways of God. But most importantly to just love them through the ups and downs. Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    • aolani

      Amen. Thank You Lord for your Word of truth that you give to guide us. This devo reminds me that You don’t seek our being perfect, but You seek our hearts broken and in need of you, our Lord. Lord, help my/our faith. Help us to put our cares into Your hands, and to wait on Your perfect plans for us, o Faithful King. … Thanks SRT!

  • Sarah wanted to control her situation, she thought she had a good plan, but it was her plan and not God’s plan. How many times am I Sarah, how many times do I take matters into my own hands and then God who is always faithful bails me out. I am so thankful that I have a Father God who is patient with his daughter. What a great story of forgiveness, redemption and fulfillment of a promis!

  • I am so incredibly grateful that we serve a God who remains so so faithful! I doubt Him, He proves me wrong. I lack faith, He comes through. I get impatient, He stays beside me. I don’t trust Him, He gives me security. It’s incredible the kind of love He has for me. And I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding it better. Even after years of walking with Him.

  • Posted

  • Sarah was blessed! In the beginning God made these promises to Abram-that his name would be great among the nations, and he would be blessed along with those around him. Sarah did not trust or have faith in God …blamed Him that she could not bear children. But God had such favor with Abram that He promised Sarah would bear a son in her old age. Again, she was blessed to bless offspring to come. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”-no. Whether it is bearing a child or overcoming our sins in the mist of our circumstances, God forever remains faithful. He proves that through the word, the word is God and is true. We should never deny it or be ashamed by it. However I believe God sometimes takes us through trials to make our faith in Hims stronger. Just like Peter denied Jesus three times before he truly believed He was the Savior, so did Sarah in her own way deny the Lord-only to become a great advocate for the Lord. She remembered with the sound of laughter His promise.

  • We can all be like Sarah, wanting to take things into our own hands when we choose not to wait on the Lord and his perfect plan for us. May the Lord continue to change our hearts so we can just rest in His timing despite what our circumstances may tell us!!!

  • Carrie Land

    This was just what I needed to hear today. I’ve been praying over something over the past month and I need to learn to be patient and wait for God to show me the right path, instead of trying to take the reins and do it myself.

  • Brooke Heidi

    Feel like I could read today’s lessons and scripture a million time over. Like water to a thirsty soul!

  • Megan Shaffer

    God will always show up! Although I can get so restless like Sarah did on waiting for Gods Will in her life, he is FAITHFUL! Even when I am unfaithful and faithless. Praise God for His promises to us! Yes, Lord! So much of me can relate so very much with Sarah. How powerful her testimony is even today!

  • After thinking about these passages and picking up my pen and beginning to write my thoughts on it, I had a few words just start speaking to me.

    God. Followed. Through.

    When Sarah was so full out of doubt that she literally laughed out loud, God followed through. When all this time had passed and that promise probably seemed so small, He followed through. When she was expecting it the least and had given up on the idea entirely.. He followed through.

    He follows through, always. Trust in that.

    • Adrianna Ford

      That’s such a beautiful way to put that. There is so much I am trusting God for and the promises seem more and more impossible the more I wait, I feel like my faith is withering and not growing but He’ll follow through. :) I have to hold on to that.

  • Note to self: God can do the seemingly impossible. When you hear His promises, trust and believe them.

  • Beyond the Road Less Traveled

    "Like Sarah, I want to be obedient to God’s plan. I don’t just say “yes” to the things He calls me to do, I get excited about them. Fired up. A little too fired up. Because then, “fired up” becomes restless. Restless becomes impatient. Why should I wait for Him to move? Why can’t I just solve the problem myself? And just like that, I begin trading God’s plans for my plans, forfeiting the fullness of His promises for my good intentions gone wrong."

    I was thankful for the devotional today. I've just recently finished the book "Women of the Word" by Jen Wilkin and was very convicted on the point that God's Word isn't about me its about GOD! Sarah's story in the Bible depicts just this! She doubted God, tried to to things her own way, but God still blessed because He wanted to show His power and glory. He uses broken people to more glorify Himself! Thankful that God showed mercy and grace to Sarah. Kind of sounds like my Christian walk. However, every story beautifully reflects God Redemption Story. I LOVE IT!

  • @ SRT,

    For the most part this plan has been awesome! However, I’ve noticed so far, that the portraits of the women displayed have been Caucasians (no minorities). I know you received several pictures from us so I hope the remainder of this plan exhibits who the women of this community are; a diversified Body of Christ, which resembles heaven on earth!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi friend! Thanks for chiming in on this! We agree! Diversity is extremely important to us too, and we have done our best to reflect this through the photos that were submitted. (In fact, the book includes ALL of the women who submitted pictures! Woohoo!) Stay tuned-there definitely are a lot of gorgeous share images on the way from our “Shes” all over the world!


    • CourteneyB

      I believe that as a minority myself, it is not the outside that this plan is about. We are all represented by each of these stories because the Spirit Man has no color. We are all the same just as we are represented by these Women in the Word. Don’t miss the message because of what you believe the outside may be. And who says that these are just Caucasian women? Don’t lose focus love.

  • mimikarenb

    My husband and I have left our home, kids and grandkids to stay with my father who is 89 and has Alzheimer's. He is on hospice with end stage heart disease. It is a privilege to serve him and honor him in this way, and I totally know we are doing what God has called us to do, but I have said so many times how much I want to go home. I have been so impatient, feeling that life is passing by while I wait here. I was hit between the eyes by Sarah's statement: "this distrust for God's plan and His timing . . . is a tried and true recipe for disaster." I need to learn to wait in joy, that what is waiting for us on the other side of this waiting time is going to be SO good! I can still trust Him!

  • So often I make my own plans because I can't see God doing anything. Usually those plans mess up and then I find myself going to God asking for forgiveness and to "please fix my mess". This takes more time than if I would have waited in the first place, and I grow impatient again. Its a terrible cycle of impatience. I'm slowly learning how to see what God is trying to teach me WHILE I AM WAITING instead of while I am being "fixed".

  • I needed to be reminded to wait patiently, this can be so hard at times.

  • Amanda Elkanick

    I am so grateful for this community, but especially for this post today. It has been 1 week since I found out that my baby did not have a heartbeat anymore. We were at 12 weeks and 5 days. I had prayed for my baby and over my baby every day. I am still struggling with why this has happened to me. I have struggled even more with drawing near to the lord during this hard time. Reading this today has helped me to. Thank you.

    • mimikarenb

      Oh Amanda I just wrap my arms around you today. My daughter went through a very similar experience and I know some of what you are feeling. I am praying that you will experience God's peace and His deep love for you during this time. When I was on my way from Oregon to Maryland to hold my daughter during that time I sent her these words: "When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest in His unchanging grace!"

    • Rebecca

      Amanda your message brings back a flood of memories. The loss of a baby is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. I am praying God’s comfort for you.

  • Today's reading was just another way God has been trying to get my attention to remind me that His Ways are not my ways and I need to wait on Him and his timing. I have a need to take control and try and fix things like Sarai did. Phil. 1:6 has been my life verse for many years but recently God has been reminding me that I need to be confident in His timing and His work in my life and it is only for His glory. So thankful for this today!

  • My prayer today is to wait patiently, but with joyful anticipation of what God is working in my life and that of my husband and children…in His timing. And to never, never, never sit in the tent when the Lord is speaking just outside! Love you Jesus!

  • I am very much like Sarah. While I don’t lack faith, I do lack patience and trust. I get the overwhelming urge to take matters into my own hands when I get anxious. I picture God with his head in his hands saying “now I’m going to have to give you another trial until you learn to trust that I’m going to show up. You just have to learn to be patient and wait!” This week I’m praying over Psalm 27:14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. “

  • God asked for Abraham’s and Sarah’s obedience… God chose to bless, make, give, establish, return, show…all words that show He is faithful and He is the work at hand. Yes, in Abraham’s and Sarah’s obedience, God poured out His blessings to them, and does so do me too! God is the author and perfecter of my faith. He chose me…just like He chose Abraham and Sarah. May I put my eyes on Jesus…

  • Mackenzie

    As a recent college graduate I am leaning to lean on God’s promises more than I ever have before. Being patient is not always easy and I am having difficulty in finding a job at a non profit, but I know His plan for my life is greater than I could ever imagine.

  • This was a reminder to me that even when God makes us wait, it's so worth it. He's making us wait for His BEST! Sarah couldn't conceive until she was 90 years old… but she gave birth a baby that would eventually lead to Jesus Christ!

  • Thank you Lord for another timely reminder that You are faithful. And thank you Lord for speaking through the women of SRT. Sarah is a constant reminder for me as we walk through a long season of infertility. Thank you Lord for reminding me that it’s not necessarily that You will give us a child if we wait long enough but that you always fulfill your promises in your time. It’s possible that your promise to me is a full life in You that doesn’t involve children. We will continue to wait, sometimes patiently and sometimes painfully impatiently.

    Lamentations 3:22-24

  • The story of Abraham and Sarah is all about trusting and waiting on God. To trust is to wait on God’s appointed time. To wait is to trust on God’s purpose. A constant reminder of my walk with the Lord because in all honesty I do not like to wait. But I know I have to if I have to trust Him.

  • Emma McKay

    Knowing that we are changed women does not mean we are perfect women and Sarah is so much more personable to me now like she could be my friend that God did great things for! As He always do!

  • Yay!!!!!! That’s the only word I have after reading about awesome, relatable, great Sarah!

  • I love today’s lesson! It is so relatable and the perfect reminder that in my imperfection, just like Sarah’s, God’s promises prevail! For 5 years I have stood in faith and believed God in the restoration and healing of my covenant marriage. He has been faithful to teach me patience, relinquish control to Him and walk in faith even in the pitch black and dead silence. I continue to pray and believe for what may look like the impossible, because God has never told me to stop. Who am I to question His timing? These have been difficult years and I have lived out this faith imperfectly, but He is so good! I’ve doubted, questioned, argued and even become angry at Him and He has loved me and guided me through every step. Drawing me closer to Him and faithful to offer reassurance along the way through scripture, signs and wonders of all magnitudes. I love Sarah’s story. I have felt that desperation and I’ve run ahead of God plenty of times. For now, I rest in His promises and know the next time I run, He’ll be there again to reassure me He is in control. ALL things are possible with God!

    • Mary Margaret

      Love this and thankful for your wisdom. The image of running ahead of God resonated with me! Praying for you an your marriage.

  • Sarah Martin

    Sarah! Yay for Sarah day! I was looking forward to today's reading and I hoped you would be the one to share the thoughts for today. So fitting! :) Today He reminded me of three things that I must stand on in a season of transition. (I think this came about with the Scripture regarding the promise land): Three truths I'm standing firm on during this season of transition and uncertainty.
    ~God always provides. Period. The end.
    ~He is worthy of my obedience and sacrifice of praise.
    ~He places others in our life to stand in unity and do this thing together. Hug them tight and move forward together.
    Yes. I like lists. I need lists. This is my list for this season of unknowing. But it's really not unknowing…I KNOW these things for sure. Yes. Onward down that rocky, winding road.

    I love how you write sentences and string words together, Sarah. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you today and share more about His nature and glory. Hugs!

    • sarahphillipsmatheny

      Thanks, Sarah M! :) Love your addition that He is worthy of my obedience and sacrifice! ALWAYS. So instead of grumbling in impatience or discontent, let me know His goodness and His worth and His sacrifice so that I may serve and obey with true joy! Bless your day, girl, and thanks for bringing a smile to mine.

  • Michelle

    Something that really stood out to me today…when Sarah concocted her crazy plan to get a baby via her maid, Abraham went along with it. When Eve offered Adam the fruit in the garden, he ate it. The parallels just really jumped out at me as I was reading. Not to say that women are evil, and men are dumb and just go along with our sinful schemes :) but we do have a lot of influence over our husbands. I want any influence I have over my husband to draw him closer to God–not out of His will.

    Right now, we’re going through a lot of uncertainty and stress with my husband’s job situation. One minute, it seems very clear what he’s supposed to do, then the next…it’s stressful. I’m trying to speak words of encouragement, but I also want to make sure I’m encouraging him in the right direction! Please pray that we would clearly hear from God…and not muddle things up in the meantime!

  • I have been ‘Sarai’ so many times…. And if I am honest I am more of Sarai at the moment than Sarah… But the reminder that God’s mercy is bigger than my faults and sin is a comfort. And ever source of gratefulness.

  • I have had so many Sarah moments! Such a blessing to read all of your comments! You all spoke to my heart today.

  • As a woman about to enter her 50’s, this story spoke to me today in a new way. At a time in her life, when she and her husband should have been enjoying retirement, God has a new assignment for Sarah – a big one, revival of a desire that had faded into an unfulfilled dream. Nothing is impossible with God, and no one beyond using. Barrenness is not just physical, but an attitude that says “it’s too late for me.” I want to stop measuring time in years, and learn to measure it by fruitfulness. I don’t know what impossible thing God has up His sleeve for me, but I’m looking forward to new adventures.

    • Katie

      I love this, Micki! May age not define our ability to glorify Him…and our love for a good adventure! ;)

  • GOOD GOOD GOOD stuff!

  • msarabia

    May I live a life always outside the tent.

  • To hear Sarah's story today through this study, is yet another eye opener from God for me.
    "But then despite our sin, comes the best part of the story. GOD CHANGES EVERYTHING. And more importantly, HE CHANGES US."

    What I have experienced in my life in the past 9 months has taught me a lot about God's authority. Our plans are not necessarily His plans, but when they are, they are in HIS time. Not ours. And that is when we learn the most. I am excited to say, that even thought what we went through as a family in these past hard months was difficult, I am changed. God is good. And His ways are true.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I love how we make a mess but God still will bless… Sarah made a huge mess and will still see the ramifications of her choice today.. But God was gracious and kind and gave her the promised son despite her manipulative choices. Oh Lord, help me to believe You even when it looks impossible! Eve and Sarah made some bad choices that left some horrid marks in history.. May we learn from these ladies and fight to follow and obey!

  • Today's section was so timely for me! I am 31 and single and have struggled on and off with this for years, trying to check all of the boxes I can to try and put myself on the path toward marriage. I still have SO MUCH hope for marriage, but I also know — and am reminded through this passage — that there is purpose right where I am in my singleness. God has a special and specific plan just for me. (And for you, too!) Sometimes, it's hard to continue hoping…To think God could totally change the story, despite odds and fears and doubts. But the amazing thing is — He totally can! Nothing, NOTHING is impossible or "too hard" for God. And even when we don't believe and try to work out the next chapter on our own, God is still loving and faithful to bring about His plan and purpose for our lives. I'm so thankful for that!! :)

    • Carmen

      Oh Katie! I am right here w you! I turned 40 this year. 40 and Single is hard! I get into that checklist mode as well. This reading and devo reminded me yet again to slow down and to wait in step w Jesus! I will be praying for you!

  • This hits scary close to home today. I’ve always read this part of Genesis with thoughts like, “come on Sarah, what are you doing?”, yet I’ve never realized how much I too have tried to impose my will over God’s will for my life. I am both bothered by this recognition and comforted in her story as we are shown that God still prevailed, despite her distrust and despite her doubts…her story wasn’t finished!

    • Katie

      Nikki, the other day I came across more about Sarah in 1 Peter 3:6 as she is held up as an example of submission. The verse states we are her daughter’s if we do good and fear nothing.

      This kind of blew me away. For all of her messes she was redeemed and her legacy is submission, faithfulness and fearlessness. Wow. I find so much hope in that! :)

  • cjackson924

    This is so timely. This week, God has been asking me to trust in him and give him my struggles/problems. I tend to ignore the complicated things or laugh at the notion that they could be solved so easily. I studied and discussed Psalm 34 at a bible study last night. We talked about how God is our refuge and he will provide what we need. I love Psalm 34:4 "I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears" and Psalm 34:10 "The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." It is so easy for me to want or "need" something, not receive it, get frustrated, and try to take things into my own hands like Sarah. I am impatient. But God is speaking to me through her story and Psalm 34. He is asking me to trust in him. To trust that he will always be there, and be my refuge. To trust him with even my toughest problems (even if they seem impossible). To trust that he will provide what I need, when I need it. He is teaching me to let go of my need to control, and allow him to work in my life. "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles" (Psalm 34:17). God will provide if I abide in him.

  • Ooof. Yes. Sarah and her meddling get me right in the gut. Her desperate desire to have children and refusal to wait, remind me of my own past conduct in romantic relationships– wanting to MAKE it work. Haha, oh boy. It's been many healing years since that time in my life, but I do still feel a whisper of that version of myself sometimes, especially as the years of my single state add up. "God, you have a plan, right? You see this?", and of course he does. My heart has rested more readily in that peace as the years pass, and even MORE with reminders like today's scripture reflection. Good stuff! :)

  • in the Women in the Word BOOK, they added Genesis 21:1-7 also, FYI.

  • Lauren Alexander

    As I near graduating College I am trying to map out my life, but what a great reminder that God has His own plans for me and I dont have to plan my life-for He has a plan.

  • Thank you Lord for doing the impossible in our lives as you tell us about Sarah from your word today. I lack trust and patience to want my needs instead of Your will which has led me to disaster. But your wonderful redemption and grace brings faith and the perfect timing.

  • Heather Franklin

    I’ve never been a fan of Sarah. I think it’s because of how she treated the servant who she had asked to help her create a family. She was just mean. But what stuck out to me today is that even though she was flawed God chose to use her. In fact he used her to create his kingdom. What an honor. What an undeserving honor. that’s just it. None of us deserve the forgiveness and blessings of God. I’m mean. I put blame on other people. But God chooses to use me anyway. Sometimes it’s hard to see how Jesus can fit into the old testament how the message of love, of God’s love, is represented when sometimes or seems to be so much anger and wrath. But right here, and in this I’m perfect woman, we see God’s redeeming love. The same love he showed us through Jesus Christ.

  • Casey Johnson

    I’ll be honest girls, I woke up today feeling down and feeling unworthy of God’s love. My first thought and prayer was of thanksgiving of God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love. Then to be reminded through this scripture and Sarah’s story that we all struggle at times, none of us have it all together all the time. Thankful for the beautiful reminder that God brings redemption and a beautiful ending to our stories because of His grace and promises.

  • Genesis 18:14;
    Is anything too hard[a] for the Lord?
    [a] or WONDERFUL
    Rephrase; Is anything too Wonderful, too Marvelous, too Magnificent, too Delightful for The Lord?
    This stopped me in my reading, & completely convicted me. How often do I think; I know it’s not too hard for the Lord, but He’s not going to use His wonderful on me…. Or even worse; I don’t deserve His wonderful. But. God. He DELIGHTS in giving his children Marvelous Gifts! This verse, & the footnotes, have spoken truth to my undeserving soul! Thank You Lord for reminding me You look at me & see Christ; & He is more Magnificent than anything I could ever attempt to be! Nothing is Too Wonderful for The Lord!

  • Unprecedented. Improbable. Unbelievable. Unrealistic. Ludicrous. And yes, laughable. These are all words in OUR vocab–not our Faithful Promise-keepers!

  • This is a hard truth, "Even spiritually transformed women will have imperfect faith; we will have moments of distrust and hesitation." But all the more reason to draw close to Him daily.

    He knows we will struggle, and He knows we will see Him fufill His promises.

    And He even knows like Sarah we'll say, "Who would have said to (fill in the name) that (fill in your name) would (fill in your impossible)?

    What is your Gen. 21:7 "impossible" that God has brought about?

    I'm reflecting on this now and will record some in my journal. He is so faithful, loving, and giving. Worthy of all my praise.

  • lauraloewen1221

    Before even reading the devotion for today, I was so struck by the words in Genesis 12:1-9.

    If I'm honest, I'm a rule follower.

    A first-born, black-and-white, why can't you get it right kind of girl? (Not always the prettiest of attitudes, for SURE.)

    Previously, I've put my nose up at Sarah. I mean, REALLY girl? You're gonna give you maid to your MAN? Your. Man.

    You're gonna let him do to her what he pleases because you want a child?

    There's no doubt lots of judgement of her and disgust with the situation was on my heart and mind. But today? Today was different.

    "Yeah," I found myself quietly nodding, "We do crazy things when we're waiting on God."

    And that is no less true for me.

    I've played make a deal with God more times than I would care to admit (and let's be honest, there was no "deal making" going on. It was me telling God what I was going to do…the ways in which I was preparing to disobey Him).

    So thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit that judgement and can be turned into compassion and identifying. God grants me grace upon grace that I cannot even come close to deserving. Grateful this morning that He's tender with me, just like He was with Sarah all those years ago.

  • Isn't God amazing? Once again God's promise is fulfilled DESPITE human weakness. I love that Sarah's story is not at all about Sarah, but about God. I love that SRT is focusing on that very fact, because that is really what we need to focus on ~ that our story is not about us, but about God IN in us, living in us, his power living in us! I'm thankful that my need for control can't thwart God's plans, that He sees past my sin and inadequacies and fulfills His promises ~ ALWAYS! I'm thankful for His Holy word that I can use as a guide, as a light for my path. I pray that our eyes can be open to this guidance and that we can learn and avoid some of those hills and valleys along the way. Have a blessed day!

  • In 1 Peter 3:5-6, the apostle Peter draws out the Godly beauty of Sarah's submission to Abraham, and tells us we are her children if we do not fear. "For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." This has been a verse that I often remember when I start fearing the future and worrying about the next step in life.

  • Carolyn J

    Wow. Yet again this week, this message is really speaking to ME, right where I am, in the midst of my struggles, my hesitations, my wavering faith, my urges to take matters into my own hands and try and fix the situation, because it "makes sense this way." SO many messages this week have been pointing directly to ME saying "Hello Carolyn. Hi there. I need you to wait just a while longer honey. Take heart – it's gonna be good. Wait just a little while." – every where I turn, WAIT seems to be the answer. NOt just with SRT devotionals, but with other things, other email devotionals I may receive, or a message at church last night for Bible study. Last night specifically I received the message "don't try and take matters into your own hands and force something to be. If it's meant to be, if it's of God and is God's plan, then it will happen, seamlessly, effortlessly – you won't have to force it." Then I get here this morning and you're saying the same thing – taking things into our own hands is a sure recipe for disaster.

    Ok God, I get it. I'm listening.

    Been struggling with "What's my story" and "why can't I have this? Why can't things just be easier? Why must I continue waiting?" And someone last night told me – "Maybe you don't know what your story is because maybe God's still writing your story." Maybe so. How awesome is that. God is writing a story for me. For HIS glory. I just have to be patient and have faith. It sucks in the meantime. But I need to turn that irritation, that restlessness, into rest IN HIM. Unwavering faith. Continue to fight the good fight set before me. Continue to praise, in the good and the bad, in the trials and the seasons of reward. Continue to serve – but not JUST serve. Serve with a joyful heart. Spread the word. Let my light shine.

    Thank you GOD For this message this morning. I get it God – I'm listening. Strengthen my faith to continue to wait, and to continue to trust you while I'm waiting.

    In the waiting…. To be continued….. story of my life!

    Be blessed sisters! :)

    • Andrea


      With a due respect to you; God has already wrote (past tense) your story you’re just waiting for it to be manifested/revealed. (Her 29:11, Is 46:10, Ps 139, Rom 8, Philippians 1:6 , etc.)

      • Carolyn J

        I understand what you're saying. I think when people say "God's still writing your story" (I've heard people say this before) I think what they mean is that it's still unfolding. Of course. But thanks for those references. Just gotta see what happens next. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be good!

  • I definitely needed to hear this today. It's so easy to get caught up in things that are happening, and instead of patiently waiting for God's direction, we make our own plans, go our own way. I was really struck by this statement:

    " He who has already put miracles in motion in your life will be faithful to see them through (Philippians 1:6)."

    I'm seemingly on the edge of a miracle in my life, but not quite yet, and I'm having a really hard time believing it. I'm filled with fear, and don't have much of the hope I used to be so full of. But I'm trusting God. I see that the important thing is not how all this turns out, but that God is with me through it, that He goes before me and has a plan. I know God can do all things. But why is it so hard to believe He will do certain things?
    Just a daily struggle for me right now.

  • I was a classic case of working life in my own strength. All I could think of as I read Sarah’s story and the response was, “you were a Sarah.” I always ran ahead of God. I would get a glimpse of the plan (or so I thought) and run full steam ahead, rarely stopping to talk to God or take His leadership. I was a bull in the china shop.
    As I got older, I realized the futility of my striving, the relationships I had failed to develop in order to accomplish the task and worse the lack of real deep peace that comes from walking with God instead of forging alone. It’s common for us women to do this. What we fail to see is the competition we set up among our sisters in Christ. We live a life of comparison (she did that well, I need to be just like her or better). We deny ourselves the live and support of each other and the talents we all bring to the table. We can divide and conquer our task with everyone’s talent combined instead of going it alone and exhausting ourselves trying to conjure up a better whatever.

    • Sarah Martin

      Oh that's a good word JennyBC. Such good points about competition and comparison. Yes…we all bring to the table gifts and talents full of great value. I'm just like you as I always run ahead. With good intentions but it is still ahead and shows the elements of distrust in my heart. Good word, friend! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lindsey

      Amen! We exhaust ourselves in comparison, worry, and trying to be enough. If we could stop flailing for a moment, we would see God beside us, as well as our sisters in Christ.

  • Like Sarah, there will be times when God’s glory is right outside our door, yet we’ll choose to stay inside the tent.

    Love this!

  • I’m frustrated today that these devos aren’t in the book. Seems like all we got was an expensive clipping of verses (I still get out my Bible to use the study portion) and blank lines. I could have instead just paid $3 on the app and used a normal journal. I like having the workbook though bc I want it all together- except it’s not all together bc the devo isn’t there. Plus I want to underline and mark up the devo. Especially today’s, it’s great! But I can’t. The app doesn’t even have a way to highlight or make notes. (Like a kindle or e-reader would) So I end up using half my response space to copy stuff. :/

    That said this devo was amazing. Probably why I’m frustrated- I like to have things in my hands. (Hence why I bought the book.) I am literally “Sarah” and so much so. Restless and impatient, attempting to make my own way to achieve what I perceive as Gods plans for me.

    I also think it’s amazing how God turned Sarah’s skeptical laughter into joyful laughter. Skepticism (/cynicism/sarcasm) is so very deep rooted and hard to break, built out of deep bitterness and the Lord breaks through it filling her heart with the joy she has never know (probably not since the original promise of a family was made).

    • shereadstruth

      Hi Sarah! Sorry you're frustrated the devotionals aren't in the book! We created the books to be a supplemental and optional resource to the online study, so cost wouldn't prevent anyone from joining us in reading Truth each day! If you'd like to return the book for a refund, email [email protected] and Laura will take great care of you!

      On the app, Tap a verse to highlight. A toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen to allow you to copy, share, bookmark or make notes. The ability to permanently highlight will be added in a future update. Yay!

      I absolutely love your point about God turning Sarah's skeptical laughter into joyful laughter. What a good Father He is! Grateful for you and glad you jumped in the discussion today! If there's anything else I can help with, don't hesitate to email me at [email protected].


      • Carolyn J

        I'm glad I saw this. I wanted to buy the journal/book this time, I never have before, but wanted to for this series. And then just wasn't able to. SO glad I didn't now since the devotionals aren't included. I would have been bummed out too.

  • Kelly_Smith

    This message of hope, of a God who can do ALL things at ALL times, landed right in the middle of my heart. I am in a place where I need to believe God for big things. I get bogged down by ledgers and planners and see no way to get to the place He has called me. I sit in the tent and keep my head down. I try to manipulate and end up the fool. This pivotal question pierced my heart: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Gen 18:14. When I sit in a puddle of my own doubt, I am, in essence, telling God, "This is too hard for You." When I hold on to that promise and pray my way through it, I proclaim with Jesus, "NOTHING is too hard for the Lord! Not even this!" I am going to talk to Him today. I am going to spend some time outside of the tent and let Him remind me of His promises. Then I will laugh at the future–a joyous laughter of belief.

    • kjhull

      God bless you, Kelly for your faith and perseverance! He WILL meet you where you are. I can't wait to hear your laugh! Share it with us when it is accomplished!

    • tina

      Kelly, love the attitude!!! So so right..we all too often are down on God….. nah, He won't do it…why would God…I'm not worthy…we do negative a lot easier than we do positive….

      You know what…I'm joining you…meeting the Lord God outside the tent…to laugh in joy and believe…Amen

      Love you Sis and God bless you!!! Xx

    • mimikarenb

      Kelly I love the picture of us sitting in the tent keeping our heads down . . while God's presence is Right There for us! thank you for that thought I will carry with me today.

    • Kendall_S

      Love this Kelly

  • There is so much truth in this this morning. I can understand so much of Sarah's story … especially when you consider God's timing in it. As always His timing isn't our own and while she would likely have preferred a child when she was younger, less tired and more fit … God provided impact on this story on our lives. He did feel she was more than capable at a hearty old age. I'm in my 40s and worn by my five year old so much more than with my eldest in my 20s, I can't begin to imagine this for Sarah. Then I am reminded that it's God's strength to draw from not mine, not Sarah's, not yours or anyone else's. He is the miracle maker and while there are many things I would have preferred less time in before the miracles came, I'm thankful God saw fit to provide them at all. Questioning His timing is like trying to reason with an inebriate…. It's pointless. There is so much more to the picture, the story than we can see and although our lives may be our testimony, the glory is God's, so if He sees fit to deliver babies in our 90s, or transform our marriages after decades, provide wealth after years of straining, eliminate positions or separate us from our family or friends, what have you, we must dive into our relationship with God and know that His love over and of us will strengthen us for the journey getting there. That there is more to the story, to our story. And if our miracles in those form, don't come, He will sustain our weeping, support our sadness and provide in ways we otherwise wouldn't know. Thankful for His many mercies and miracles in my life….that He has corrected what I've messed up and delivered from a fate of my own choosing. Thankful that He has taken me from self-made to His princess….may He finish His work in me! ~ B

    • tina

      Beautifully put my dear…-B..His plans for us…PERFECT…every time…Thank you Lord God…Thank you..

      Big hug to you dearest…and yours..xxx

    • Kathi

      Love your thoughts B! Blessings on your day! Kathi

  • smithwendy62

    These words struck me…she leaves us a legacy of faith that’s imperfect, but real…..real….look at the world today, the masks that people where, the changes that they make to themselves….we need to celebrate imperfect and equate that with real…the image of God!

  • I like the note that : “there will be times when we hear the clear promises of God and laugh in disbelief”. Maybe it’s not a situation of getting pregnant in your 90s, but God is working some sort of miracle in your life that may seem far-fetched or crazy, but anything is possible with Him!

  • Being a working mom and wife, I always feel like I have to be one step ahead of everybody and am always exhausted. I am realizing right now that my need to “be on top of it” is a distraction from seeking Him and finding peace in His plan. Thankful for His faithfulness and love.

    • Kristen Fagaly

      I feel ya! That’s a good Word!

    • Jaime

      I feel the same way. I feel like I have to be in control of everything or my life will be complete chaos. I've realized here recently that my need to be in control is my idol and am working on letting that go. I see myself in Sarah, because I would try to take things in my own hands too. Sarah's story (and your comment) give me relief that I'm not the only one who struggles in this.

      • Brisa

        We are not alone, part of why I am really making this study a priority is so that I can exchange and have (virtual) fellowship with other women without any of the worldly expectations. Bless you.

    • Alyssa

      I’m in the same boat! It can be overwhelming all the time. I was recently reminded of John 15 and how I need to abide in Christ and he will transform my heart and attitude toward the cares of this world (and unrealistic expectations of being the perfect mom, wife, etc). I’ve also really enjoyed the “Hands Free Mama” book/blog.

      • Brisa

        Yes, we are called to love and that’s should be our focus for our kids and others. I will check the blog out. Thanks!

  • This is SO me: trying to “speed up” God, trying to get His will (or my perception if it) my way and in my timing. This week – today – this is my struggle. I know His will is best, and that He will reveal it in His time, but I want to know it NOW. Lord, help me to trust and wait in You!

  • I love Sarah is me. Messy, weak faith and jealous. Her story inspires me to release those things to God and put every inch of my faith in Him.

    • tina

      There's the thing right there…in all that we are…messy, weak faith, jealous…can I tell you something Whitney…we are still loved and beautiful, honoured by our Awesome God…xx

  • The promises all through the Old Testament are that the people will find rest. I love the illustration of restlessness being redeemed by Him into rest. I definitely struggle from the desire to do it all at my speed. His way is better.

  • Samantha Clarke

    Beautifully written. I can relate to the following: We may persuade others to come along in our plan instead of His. We may blame everyone else for the problems that came from our own lack of faith, manipulation and insecurity. We may turn from loving, trusting, faithful followers into envious and abusive schemers.
    But God in His infinite mercy will deliver me from my self inflicted mess

  • carlybenson

    I definitely relate a lot to Sarah- waiting and trusting are not things I find easy and the temptation is to feel I need to take control and take matters into my own hands. I'm thankful that God can still use us in spite of this. I wonder if part of Sarah's problem was that she didn't realise she was included in God's promise. The original promise in Genesis 12 was made to Abram and when, after several years, the promise hadn't been fulfilled, it seems like Sarah still believed the promise but didn't believe she was part of it, almost like she saw herself as a barrier to God fulfilling his promise to her husband and that's what led to her suggestion to have a child with Hagar. I know when I'm waiting for something that doesn't seem to be happening I can feel like I'm the problem and I can believe God's promises for others more easily than for myself. As we see here though that way of thinking does not lead to good results.

    • Kristen Fagaly

      Wow, what an observation. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jess

      I just finished a Bible study at church that pointed out this very thing- the original promise to Abraham, and God's silence about Sarah's role In it until much later (13 years, I believe- Ishmael was a young teen). It really changed the way I thought about Sarah's actions in giving Hagar to Abraham as a wife. That arrangement was accepted in their culture. I guess what I learn from that is that even when I don't know the full details of God's plan (and when do I ever?) I don't need to force anything. I can believe that what I do know of his plan will be worked out in His way and His timing.

      • Andrea


        I agree! I believe Sarah, felt she was excluded from the Abrahamic Covenant, especially, since men were the authoritarians back then and women weren’t treated with equality. This was normal in their culture. That’s why surrogacy today is not new, it’s been around for years. As King Solomon, said “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc 1:4-11)

    • kjhull

      that is a great observation and really speaks to me! I am so often eager to take the blame for something going wrong, of being the barrier. TRUST, TRUST, TRUST ~ it comes down to this, always.

    • tina

      Like you Carly, I can believe a promise for others easier than I can for me….but like you have also said….I need to hear the promise for Me too…Amen …xx

    • cjackson924

      I never noticed that! That does give me a new perspective on why she acted like she did. I could easily see myself feeling shame and guilt that I had not fulfilled God's promise to Abram. If I were in her shoes, I would have blamed myself and done anything I could to make up for it. What a great reminder that we cannot fathom what God's plans are, and they do not have to make since in our world.

  • drshanwalks

    Every time I read Sarah's story I see myself. I see the times God has given me a word and I have laughed not necessairly with disbelief, but with apprehension and fear. When He told me that I would become a psychologist, I laughed. When He told me I would leave Atlanta, I laughed. When He told me I would speak in front of large groups of people, I laughed. Thankfully, like Sarah He continued to be faithful to His word despite my resistance and my fear. He continually pursued me allowing me to get comfortable with the idea, thus eventually walking it out. Now days when He gives me a word that brings forth a laugh I immediately pray that He strengthens me and prepares me. For I know it will come despite my flesh getting in the way. I laugh less often and have learned to not get in the way, but truthfully I sometimes still faulter. BUT GOD continues to pick me up! Today, as I think about some of the things yet to come I realize that I am still working through some laughter. So God this morning I pray that I be removed so Your plan may be fullfilled. Give me wisdom and strength. Prepare me for what You will have me to do. Though things may seem too hard or impossible, I know that nothing is too hard for you. Help me to rest in that fact. Amen.

    • carlybenson


    • MNmomma (heather)


    • Allison


    • tina


      Beautifully said Shan…I wonder why it is hard for us to believe what God has planned for us…I pray Jeremiah 29 :11 over people all the time…perhaps I need to pray it for me too…cos His plans are good…better…best for me…Amen..xxx
      Praising God that He has been faithful to you dear sister…and may He continue to be so…xx

  • …..Even spiritually transformed women will have imperfect faith; we will have moments of distrust and hesitation. Like Sarah, there will be times when God’s glory is right outside our door, yet we’ll choose to stay inside the tent. There will be days when we hear the clear promises of God and laugh in disbelief (Genesis 18:9-12)……

    This whole paragraph spoke to me…1) I often, more frequently than I care to say really, in truth…believe my faith is not as those who stand in front of people to speak, or those who write, or even those who look perfectly in the zone with God…I am forever telling myself …I will never get there…to that place where they are…but, as today's devo is helping me to understand, EVEN they will have imperfect faith…2) I could write volumes on my distrust and hesitation…my problem is I don't believe or see I am worthy.and the sad thing is like Sarah, God being God, does come through, as promised….3 )God's glory outside the door…if only I will open the door…I live, a lot with fear…Fear of never finding a partner, and living alone until the end..Fear of something happening to my children…it's not so bad now, but there was a time when I would here an ambulance and call to make sure it wasn't going to pick up my daughter, or a police car, and call my son to make sure he was okay….Fear of not being good enough…the list goes on…Fear will have a lot to answer for on judgement day! 4) This one really tugged at my heart…how often have I laughed in disbelief, or doubt…Oh my heart hurts..because I KNOW God is faithful, loving and He is my Hope…and yet oh too often, I laugh in disbelief….

    Lord God, I come before you now…sorry for my lack of trust in YOU, my lack of faith in YOU…Heavenly Father..forgive me…I have no reason to not trust or have faith in YOU Lord God…you have always had my back whatever the situation…you have been more faithful to me,than I could ever be in my lifetime…Help me Lord now to change, to hold so fast to You…nothing can come between us…Be gone spirit of fear and all associated with it BE GONE IN the Mighty name of Jesus…I pray Amen…Thank you Lord God for your eternal love…xxx

    Sister's, happy Thursday…with love…xxx

    • ~ B ~

      Tina your words are so relatable. You've just described so much of what I've felt from time to time. What I believe many of us do and have. You're not alone. Fear does have a lot to answer for and I don't want to miss my life for it. I'm also prayerful that as I've entered a season where fear remains at a distance that it stays there. Prayerful in the same for you friend! ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)


    • Lynda

      Tina! Amen!! I’m praying that with you as I need to banish the fear I cave in to all too often. Thank you for sharing

    • Susan

      Tina let me share something that I sense will be helpful to you. During a study on identity I received several revelations. I know that you would greatly benefit from the same information. It was presented locally via a DVD teaching from School of Kingdom Ministry, Vineyard Church in Urbana, IL. We become righteous, who we were meant to be and no longer broken, when we accept Christ as our savior. We are no longer sinners. We were created in God's image. Now, through Jesus, God has restored His likeness in us. It's as if Jesus has put us back in the garden. Yes, we will still sin, but we are not sinners any longer. Do you see yourself through the lens of Jesus? We judge ourselves by what we do rather than who we really are. We are new creations in Christ. We are different now. Your fear, I think, will fall away when you get ahold of the truth about who you ARE. God sees you just like He sees Jesus! We are in Jesus and Jesus is in us. What great news!! Don't miss it. God bless you!

    • Kay Tallman

      Just read your comments on Sarah and can so relate to all you said. God's grace is so overwhelming in this story as in mine. Blessings on you today Tina my prayers are with you. And I would appreciate yours for me. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  • janessarenee

    Make our hearts tender to your promises, Lord!

  • "He takes us from Sarai, the self-made noblewoman, to Sarah, His chosen princess…"
    —> This is so true!!! Knowing Him deeper and experiencing His presence is much much better than the fulfillment of any of His promises! He gives us HIMSELF during our season of waiting… but still, we can trust that whatever He has promised will come to pass, in His time.. in His way! :)

  • Ashley A

    As someone who likes to make my own plans, I use this verse as a constant reminder, “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

    In times we are waiting, God is sharpening us and preparing us for that next phase. He knows us better than we know ourselves, for there is a season for everything and “He has made everything beautiful in its time!” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

    • Graceforyou2

      This was exactly the verses I needed to hear this morning! Thank you for sharing them in reference to Sarah’s story! :)

  • I’m such a planner and I’m actively seeking God so that I stop asking God to bless my plans rather than asking him what his plans are.

    • carlybenson

      I've been really challenged about this too lately. I realised I was often praying to God for help in whatever I was doing when actually I should be seeking what he wants and asking what I can do to help in what he is doing.

      • Melodie

        So true Carly! I need to remember this! Just like in normal conversation it can tend to be a little one sided during prayer. I have been trying to intentionally leave room in my prayers for the Lord to speak to me. Quiet listening time to hear His voice.

  • Thank you Jesus for my faith that is imperfect but real. I am unashamed and learning to wait patiently

  • This is my first time reading the Bible and I am very confused! When God gives Sarah a son, is he rewarding her for being a good servant? Or is he revealing his power that she was doubting ( and had laughed at) before? Wouldn’t God be unhappy with the sins that Abraham and Sarah had committed?

    • Claire

      God was fulfilling his promise to Abraham in giving Sarah a son. He was also using her doubt and disbelief to teach her about his love and faithfulness. I think she suffered enough from her actions and whilst God obviously was disappointed he used the situation to reveal more of himself. I think he often does the same today. Don’t worry about feeling confused about the bible by the way we all find passages hard however when we pray what we learn from those same passages can be life changing!

    • Jessie

      Throughout the Bible, God uses imperfect people to fulfill His plans and purposes. Isaac her son was not a reward, but just the fulfillment of His promise that He made to Abraham years before. God promised Abraham that through his seed, his offspring, all the world would be blessed. Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered the nation of Israel, out of which Jesus came and offered salvation and redemption to the whole world. Sarah didn't earn the reward of a child, but this story shows God fulfilling His promises despite human weakness; He's creating a people all His own. All people have sinned and fallen short of God's glory…except Jesus…but God has still chosen to use people on earth and work through them to display His glory. The Bible is full of these examples of God using broken people for His purposes: David, Samson, Solomon, Rahab, Ruth, Paul, Jacob, etc.

    • CJHakes

      I love that even though she messed up and tried to make a family (by getting her lady in waiting to sleep with her husband!!) that God doesn't forget her. I wonder, if she HAD waited, when would God have granted her a son? He would have overcome her infertility maybe in her 30's or 40's. But instead, he waits till she is post menopausal! That makes me excited for all the things that God has in store for our lives, when society says 'oh, your retired now' God will still have a few more commissions up his sleeve for us!

    • Abby

      I remember reading and hearing Bible stories growing up, and Sarah was always a puzzler for me. “Wait a minute, am I supposed to be like Sarah or not be like her?” And just confused about the way she treated Hagar. It’s not been til my adult years that I’ve had good teaching and begun to realize that we aren’t supposed to be emulating all these OT and NT “heroes”. The real hero is God. Jesus is the pivotal point on which the entire Old and New Testaments hang.
      So God used sinful people like Abraham and Sarah to be key people in his redemption story. That gives me so much hope that he wants to use me. And even more than that, our sin does not negate God’s love for us. It only makes his love all the more wonderful and surprising. Don’t forget that Sarah laughed again when Isaac was born… God sees and hears and brings his laughter to our souls!

    • glenna

      God is keeping the promise that He made to Abraham to make him into a great nation. I think what stands out here is that God faithfully kept His promise, even though Abraham and Sarah made mistakes and tried to work out God’s plan themselves. They disobeyed, but thankfully our disobedience doesn’t thwart His good plan. He is faithfully unchanging. :)

    • montanaqueen91

      Anne my sisters have pointed out multiple times now the beautiful truth and paradox that our God uses broken sinners, His own children, to bring about His plan. He is perfect so He cannot go back on His promise to Abraham and Sarah, even when she sinned and doubted. This faithfulness translates back to our lives. Our Father will not give up on us even when we mess up. Does He long for us to live in light and righteousness? Yes. Does he forget us when we disobey His commands? No. He desires for us to flee sin, but loves us in our mess. What a crazy grace we have received!

    • Anne W.

      Wow. Thank you all so much for answering my questions! I went to bed completely confused and woke up to so much clarity.

    • Brittany H

      I too initially find it confusing. The devotional helps me to understand the message and then I reread it in hopes to gain a better understanding. I agree that I am so much like Sarai..I am very impatient and find myself often times questioning God when I need to simply rely fully on him. I look forward to this devotional..it helps to understand that we too are like those in the Bible. We too have the human “flaw” of always asking why instead of thanking God. Everything is perfect in his timing.

  • I see me here. Imperfect, impatient, restless, moving ahead of myself in my bid to resolve perceived problems. Don't we all have the saraic tendencies running in us. BUT it's great to be reminded this morning that through our impatience and restlessness, HE will respond in HIS own time and give our souls rest. Waiting is a virtue indeed.

    Thank you for this wonderful message.

  • Wow this really brought forth the struggles I am facing right now. It’s so hard to sometimes remember that God can handle things for me. I have so much I want to accomplish that I sometimes get impatient and jump at the chance to take care of a thing myself. I end up with a mess that could have been avoided. When this happens I just have to remember to put my faith in Him and know that he will see me through it all.

    • Erica

      Yes!!! This couldn’t be closer to my exact experiences and thoughts

  • Of all the details about Sarah in the Biblical account, I relate to her laughter the most. She waited so long, experienced so much delay and disappointment, and her best efforts only made things worse. She got to a point when the thought of God fulfilling his promises wasn't just unlikely. It was ridiculous. It was laughable. I can relate to that feeling where you have to seal off your heart and harden it in a way. Her laugh was the laugh of a heart that didn't dare hope.
    It's interesting that God takes time to notice her laugh, and the condition of her heart. It was a detail that would have been so easy to dismiss. He wasn't just about the business of saving the world through her family. He cared that she knew her heart was safe with Him.

    • Kelly_Smith

      And then the laughter of a promise fulfilled! I can imagine the uncontrollable laughter at Isaac's birth; a laughter bathed in tears of joy. We can have that joyful laughter now *before* God fulfills all of His promises. If I would let go of my reasoning and let God out of the box I put Him in, that laughter can be a part of today, not just reserved for the days of promises fulfilled. "Strength and dignity are her clothing and she LAUGHS AT THE TIME TO COME" (Proverbs 31:25).

      • Peace2015

        I ❤️ that connection to proverbs Kelly!

      • hannah

        Kelly, thank you for connecting those two passages! That's exactly what I had in mind when I wrote my original comment, but you wove them together so beautifully. And I love how you said that laughter can be ours today. We don't have to wait to see how the promise will be fulfilled.

      • Andrea


        Yes this is so me! :)

    • Brandi

      Thank You Father that You are concerned about the state of my heart and that my heart is always safe with You!

    • Lynnsey

      such a beautiful truth. even when I try to hide my heart
      from others, myself, and mostly Him, His love still triumphs!

      • Lesa

        Your reply reflects how I feel so often. Am I unworthy to even dare to hope that the promises are for me? God says, "No", the bigger the obstacle the more glory He will receive. I present plenty of obstacles with which He has ample opportunity to provide miracles.

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