Yesterday at LCBC Church, we heard Dr. David Ashcraft talk about trusting God even in times where we feel stuck, lost, empty, crushed, or devoid of feelings all together (GREAT message and series, by the way. You can listen to the whole thing HERE: http://www.lcbcchurch.com/media/cat/the-land-between).
During an illustration using the Bible story of Abram and Sarah's ill-conception (Genesis 16), He mentioned that Abram's vast fortune would be left to his servant, Eliezer, because Abram had no offspring. (Genesis 15:2 - 2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.)
The story goes on to explain that God promises Abram that he will have children and his descendants will be to numerous to count.
My imagination was captured by the character, Eliezer. Eliezer had probably been with Abram for a very long time and therefore was the senior-most servant on Abram's staff. I wonder if thru all of those years he began to harbor a secret hope the Abram would never have children. Abram's mis-fortune would mean that he, Eliezer, would have un unbelievable payday upon Abram's death. I'm sure he was a dutiful and respectful servant whom carried out his responsibilities with excellence, otherwise he would have been the heir to Abram's wealth. I'm not calling Eliezer's character into question, but even the most upright person is subject to hopes and dreams. Did he dream of being an independent man? Did he dream of being affluent enough to be respected as more than a servant? If it had been me, I think I would have unwittingly set up an idealized potential future for myself, in my mind, that included the unfortunate outcome for Abram and Sarah of not ever having any children.
Meanwhile, Abram would have been hoping for an outcome that would impact my desires for myself, no matter how secret.
What I'm really talking about here is expectation. Expectations are a tricky thing because they are directly linked to my desires. When I find myself in "The Land Between", stuck between where I was and where I want to be, I should ask myself, "Am i feeling stuck because I'm not getting where I want to go?" AND, "Is where I want to go based upon what I want or what God wants for me?" Would I be content to stay where I am if that is the outcome God had in mind all along, even if it means never getting to the outcome that I envisioned for myself? These are questions that can only be answered with time and just living. That frustrates the crap out of a results-based laborer like myself. But they are realities I have to face.