The Hagar Solution
Hagar's the servant girl. The missus can't get pregnant. The missus and the master both know God promised them a child. Hagar starts looking like a pretty good option.
Had they not waited 10 years it would be easier to criticize them. But 10 years is a long time to wait. For anything. Ten years of spring lambings, and January's cold, and drawing water from the well and wondering every night while they stared into the embers, "what's the hold up?" Ten years of hoping and dashed hopes.
How long have you been waiting? Everybody's waiting for something. And let's face it, we could be waiting for lesser things, perhaps even things not promised. At the risk of being a wet blanket, it's possible we're waiting for a bus that'll never come. I'm guessing that my 64" HD TV falls into this category. I'm sure it's important to the God of the universe, but…
There are 3 possibilities:
1) We're waiting for something that God never promised us. In that case, the Hagar solution's a good idea – be creative and come up with our own solutions.
2) We're waiting for something that God promised. Don't mess it up with our sense of urgency. Keep Hagar out of the bedroom, or bedtent or whatever.
3) We're not waiting for anything. We've lost hope. We're just doing laps.
I'm at #2. I have a huge sense of expectancy. I am sure that God wants us to be a part of His amazing plan to save the world. Although it's not really a promise from God. It's more like an invitation. It's not like he's promising us children, it's more like He has all these children and He's invited us to watch out for them, to rescue them from danger and guide them.
And His promise is to help us do that well.
We might need miracles, so His children let us provide good care. But I'm not sure. And my doubt here is not because I'm a cessationist-I'm not! I firmly believe in real true miracles today. I've seen them. No problem there. My doubt isn't about God's ability. It's more that I wonder if miracles are what will convince people today? Maybe they aren't the right "signs of the kingdom" for this people. I realize that the first-century miracles convinced many. In fact, they were critically important in the early days of the church. But that doesn't mean that God always has to use those same signs of the kingdom to convince people. I suspect He will find appropriate and convincing signs for this people among whom we live; a people jaded, a people skeptical, a people twice cheated.
So I'm waiting for Him to fulfill the promise, as He sees best. I'm guarding the door of the tent against the Hagar solution. And as I wait, I'm lambing, and shivering in January, and drawing water, and staring at the embers as they glow long into the night. His solution comes.