When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:1-5)
This is my third or fourth time sharing from Genesis. I just think that we have a lot to learn these days about how to be faithful in hard times. Can you imagine waiting for something really important yet waiting a really long time? And sometimes you doubt that it will ever come, like planning to buy your first home, completing your degree, or looking forward to the day of your retirement. Sometimes I wonder how long before we can see the light at the end of the tunnel before we can get back to our normal life and church.
When God called Abraham and promised him descendants, he was 75 years old. When Ishmael was born, he was 86. Now at 99 he had not had a child of his own. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old. It took 25 years for God to deliver his promise, not long for God at all (Ps. 90:4). Precious things do not come quickly or easily. They take time and patience. And often, they come after you are not willing to give up. Those who believe have patience, and their not giving up will be rewarded.
What are you waiting for these days? What is it that important to you and you are asking God for it? Is there anything you have been praying and waiting for, for a long time? For Abraham it was to have a child of his own. God did not forget God’s promise or the prayer of Abraham for a child. For the same reason, God knows your need and your prayer. In time, God’s own time, you will receive. Just keep the faith, do not give up, God has not forgotten you. It may be long but you will eventually receive what you had asked from God.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.
Thaus Aplaa noob nyoog muaj cuaj caug cuaj xyoos, Yawmsaub lug tshwm rua Aplaa hab has rua nwg tas, “Kuv yog Vaajtswv kws muaj fwjchim luj kawg nkaus. Ca le nrug nraim kuv hab xyum zoo kawg nkaus. Kuv yuav nrug koj sws cog lug, hab kuv yuav ua rua koj caaj ceg fuam vaam coob kawg nkaus.” Aplaa txawm khwb nkaus rua huv aav, mas Vaajtswv has rua nwg tas, “Nuav yog kuv tej lug kws kuv cog rua koj, koj yuav ua ntau haiv tuabneeg leej txwv. Koj lub npe yuav tsw hu ua Aplaa le lawm, yuav hu ua Aplahaa, vem kuv ua rua koj ua ntau haiv tuabneeg leej txwv (Chivkeeb 17:1-5)
Nuav zoo le yog zag peb lossis plaub kws kuv sau nyob rua huv Chivkeeb. Rua qhov kuv xaav tas peb yuav kawm tau ntau yaam sijhawm kws najnub nua muaj kev txomnyem txhawjxeeb ntau. Koj swm xaav rua lub sijhawm kws koj tog rua tej yaam tseem tseem ceeb tabsis siv sijhawm ntev ntev le tau. Hab tub yog tomqaab kws koj yeej tsi tso tseg le le maam tau, xis le thaum koj npaaj yuav koj thawj lub tsev nyob, nub koj kawm ntawv tav qeb sab, lossis tog nub kws koj su dlejnum es nyob noj nyaj. Tej thaum, kuv xaav tas yuav ntej npaum le caag peb maam le pum lub teeb ci tshwm ntawm lub qhov raus ntuj es peb le rov qaab muaj lub neej zoo le qub hab moog church le qub.
Thaum Vaajtswv hu Alahaas hab cog lug tas nwg yuav muaj xeebntxwv nwg muaj 75 xyoo. Thaum Ixamaees yug nwg muaj 86 xyoo. Thaum 99 xyoo nuav los nwg tseem tsi tau muaj ib tug mivnyuas kws yog nwg tug tag. Thaum Ixaj yug Alahaas muaj 100 xyoo. Nwg siv 25 xyoo Vaajtswv le pub mivnyuas rua nwg, tabsis yeej tsi ntev rua Vaajtswv le (Ntawv Nkauj 90:4). Khoom zoo tsi laam tau sai lossis lug yoojyim. Nwg siv sijhawm hab yuav tau ua sab ntev tog. Hab feem ntau, yug yeej tsi tso tseg le mas maam le tau. Cov kws ntseeg, ua tau sab ntev tog hab tsi tso tseg yeej yuav tau txais nqezug.
Koj taabtom tog dlaabtsi najnub nua? Yaam dlaabtsi yog yaam tseemceeb heev rua koj hab koj tau thov kuas Vaajtswv paab koj? Puas muaj ib yaam twg kws koj tau thov Vaajtswv hab tseem najnub tog hab tog ntev lug lawm? Rua Alahaa ces yog nws xaav tau tub. Vaajtswv yeej tsi novqaab nwg tej lug cog tseg lossis Alahaas txuj kev thov Vaajtswv kuas muaj taug tub. Ib yaam le ntawd, Vaajtswv paub yaam koj yuavtsum muaj hab yaam koj thov. Txug lub sijhawm, Vaajtswv lub sijhawm, lub sijhawm kws zoo, koj yeej yuav tau txais. Kavtsij muab sab rau ntseeg, tsi xob tsog tseg, Vaajtswv tsi tau novqaab koj lossis yaam koj thov hab xaav tau. Tej zag nwg yuav ntev tamsim koj yeej yuav tau ib nub xwb le. Yaam kws koj thov lawm koj yeej yuav tau tag.