Today I was reading Hebrews chapter 11, the Faith Hall of Fame. It starts out being defining faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." It then goes on to list heros of the Bible, what they believed God for, and why their faith was credited to them as righteous. I was moved by Abraham who "when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went (emphasis mine) even though he did not know where he was going." I remember clearly the internal turmoil two years ago when Curt and I very clearly heard God calling us to move west and how frightening it was to obey and go. And we knew our final destination! God promised Abraham He would make his descendants innumerable, yet here Abraham is - living as a foreigner in the land God promised to give him (that now at least has a name) with ZERO children. He's approaching 100 years old and his wife is 90 when God tells him, "Okay, Sarah's going to get pregnant." Can we say guaranteed spot on Oprah when that actually happens? When Abraham dies he can count the number of his children on one hand. Not exactly innumerable. This is how God fulfills His promises? Seems like a broken promise to me.
Then I stumbled on verse 13. It says, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance." They got glimpses of the promise, but didn't get to see the big picture, and STILL they believed God. They had faith He would keep His promise to them and He did. Amazing!
God's plan is almost always more intricate, complicated, and tougher than a plan I would design. But His plan is also more beautiful, creative and faith-building than any I would concoct which is why I am content to be a Follower of Jesus. Each day I am learning to walk by faith like the great heros in the Bible. The next time I get irritated that God hasn't answered my prayer and I've prayed about it for two days, I'll remember that Sarah and Abraham were infertile for 80 years before God said "Yes" to their prayer. When it feels like God has left me high and dry and has abandoned His promises for my life, I can know that He will finish what He started, even if the conclusion comes long after I die. That's a promise I can trust.