By Susan Furr – Manassas, Virginia
I was teaching the moms at Bible study about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, and to my surprise, there was another woman who had six sons fathered by Abraham after Sarah’s death.
I got excited since I could not remember hearing about Keturah and her sons, nor her marriage to Abraham (Genesis 25:1-4). It left me wanting to read more about faithful Abraham.
Age is Just a Number
God told Abram (when he was 75 years old) to leave his country and get away from his family. He was to leave his father’s house (leave his comfort zone). He was to go to a land that God would show him.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram, ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:1-2 NKJV
Even though he was 75 when God spoke to him and promised offspring, Abraham had not yet produced any (Romans 4:19).
However, his grandfather, Nahor, fathered Abraham’s dad, Terah, when Nahor was 29 (and then lived to be 119-years-old). And Terah fathered Abraham when he was 70. This was unusual for our world, but not for Abram.
God made this promise to Abram when he was 75 and Sarai was about 66. Clearly, there were some infertility issues with the couple.
My Bible study ladies are single moms with toddlers, newborn and/or pregnant, and all under 25 years of age. Quite the opposite for Sarai. It’s hard to imagine this woman at 66 ever being able to get pregnant the natural way.
Photo by fancycrave1 of Pixabay
Abram didn’t have an issue with childbearing. Sarai grew impatient and offered her slave, Hagar, to be with her husband Abram.
The latter two had a son, Ishmael. This idea backfired on Sarai (Abram believed “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”) God didn’t give up on them just because they got off track.
God Honors His Covenants
A covenant is a usually formal, solemn and binding agreement: a sacred agreement between God and his children. God sets specific conditions and promises to bless us as we obey these conditions.
Our covenants guide the choices me make, and help us resist temptation.
About 13 years after Ishmael was born, God spoke with Abram (Genesis 15). Abram was around 86 when Ishmael was born, but that was not God’s promise.
Abram was a very wealthy man traveling as a nomad with God’s protection and blessing on his life. Abram was human, and he made some mistakes.
He tried to walk that fine line. When he stepped off the correct path, he got right back on course.
Allow God to Lead
In life, like Abram, we must keep moving forward to pursue our passions and goals in life. Let’s allow God to lead us instead of walking by our five senses.
When God puts a promise in us, he is faithful to bring it to pass. After not pursuing the dream that God put into my heart that I would be an artist, after almost 40 years of not doing any art, I am now living that promise and working at doing art full time.
God inspired a man to speak into my life, telling me to draw everyday which I’ve been doing for five years.
I was afraid to paint, so God worked in me to take a free watercolor class in my local library. I struggled through that class and realized that watercolor was not my medium. I enjoyed painting and still draw daily.
I dabbled my way into acrylic, chalk pastels and then in oil paints. I was like a kid learning to walk.
I knew I wanted to do more, bigger and better, so I would set challenges for myself.
I targeted 30 faces in 30 days, and 100 flowers in 100 days, but kept doing faces or portraits to improve my skills.
When I could not figure out how to do something, I would ask God to show me and teach me. He would lead me in the direction to figure out how to get things done.
At times, he would have me draw the same picture repeatedly or paint something repeatedly. I have seen my work go from amateur to professional and for every artist, that is different.
There is nothing we cannot do when we surrender to God. Of myself, I can do nothing. Abraham had learned to surrender to God when he was 75 years old, and God told him to leave home.
Abraham had to learn to wait for Isaac’s arrival. His journey was long and trying. He experienced grief and blessings.
We mustn’t allow fear to keep us in our comfort zone. There is no comfort in not fulfilling what God has called us to accomplish in life.
We may not see the full picture of what lies ahead of us, but like Abraham, we trust God, since he sees what’s ahead.
Ordained into Christian ministry, Susan Furr serves on the CFF Pastoral Care Team along with her husband Dennis. They have been married for 34 years and have three children: Rebecca, Micah, and Abigail.