The kids are reading through Genesis right now (Their Bible reading plan also includes a portion from Proverbs each day).
After they finish, I’ve been asking them what they read about. I usually let them pick what they bring up, and ask questions about that. Then I ask, “Is there anything that will help you today in your reading?” Sometimes they see something. Sometimes they don’t. I will add that their hermeneutic often terrible, and I have been deliberately pretty easy on them. I don’t want to be too corrective at this early stage in the game.
A few weeks ago, they were reading about Hagar. Bethel asked if Hagar was saved. That was a good question, and we spent some time talking about Hagar and Ishmael. That brought up the discussion that has since then been rattling in my head: Abraham and Sarah believed God regarding an heir, but they didn’t see how God would accomplish his promise. I tend to think that God’s timing was feeding their sense of urgency. After all, with each passing year, Sarah was less (!) likely to bear a son. God’s timing was impeccable, but Abraham and Sarah didn’t wait for him.
And I think of myself. I, too, have too short of a time perspective. I want my children to learn good habits in a month. I am impatient when they struggle yet again with teasing too much or showing kindness too little. I want them to be unselfish, and I am dismayed when they make choices that reveal a profound selfishness. I start to doubt myself when I don’t see instant results. I am quickly discouraged when I see my own limitations mirrored in my children with startling accuracy.
And when I share the gospel with my neighbors, I am dismayed that I am leaving work undone. No decisions have been made. New relationships developing with a neighbor three months before I’m gone: did God make a mistake? I forget that God’s timing is impeccable. I can trust that he is working, even when I cannot see it or when his working is happening slowly from my perspective. I feel the urgency. I’m leaving soon and it will be too late! But I must also be obedient and do the things I know I ought to do in the meantime (phone calls, anyone?) This is where I should sense the urgency.
I must urgently obey today when I know to do, and trust contentedly God’s timing in the big things that I cannot control.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2