The story is familiar and moving. A couple longs for a child. They try and try again. Year after year. They pray. This prayer percolates up, bubbling to their vocal chords. The wife wakes with the prayer already in her mouth. Her prayer catches the rhythm as she kneads bread or stirs the pot. The prayer lies heavy on her chest before she falls asleep. Leaden. Futile? An exercise so well established that she can’t give it up. But hope ebbs. Too long hope is deferred. Prayer unanswered.
This is how I imagine Sarah, now old, past child-bearing, worn out by the wait.
God has promised a son. In fact, a nation. The promises God made lit up the sky and lay in the sand at their feet. Promises too great. Promises so expansive and glittering. Promises so wonderful—and impossible.
Time had run out for them. She was past child-bearing and husband was very old.
The Lord appears again to Abraham, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son” (Genesis 18:10).
As I consider this couple, stricken with age, gazing at the stars beyond counting, hopes stirred, empty-wombed, hope deferred, I come upon the most poignant sentence. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (verse 14).
And we know the answer is “No!” Nothing is too hard.
But as I studied this verse, I discovered that “hard” can be translated “wonderful.” “Is anything too wonderful for God to do?”
God has made wonderful promises to us, too. All the promises have their “Yes” in Christ (II Corinthians 1:20). But like Sarah the wait wears us down. Do you, like me, have prayers unanswered? Do you wonder if God hears? HE DOES. So let’s encourage and remind one another: “Nothing is too hard, nothing too wonderful for God to accomplish.”