Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Such a random thought tonight I know, but stay with me, I’m going somewhere…
Whenever I read the story of Hagar and Baby Ishmael, I always feel it for Hagar. What a life. Not a “life” I would say, rather a bleak existence. But my sympathy for Hagar isn’t where I’m going tonight.
My post tonight is short, sweet and simple: stop making Ishmaels.
No offence to anyone called Ishmael but in this context, Ishmaels represent instant gratification. It’s the thing you do to make life look good now. The thing you create to make yourself feel good today. It’s when you push the Spirit of God to one side and get on the spinning potter’s wheel.
Yeah, you know the type. You know what that relationship/person/plan looks like.
But I would never push God’s Spirit to one side!
Yet we do, every time we go our own way, every time we argue for our alternative and every time we consider our plans greater than His.
If you’re currently there, just stop.
Stop forcing your way.
Stop going left on an intersection.
Stop making sloppy mistakes on that clay wheel boo, you’ll regret it later.
Oh I don’t do regrets?
Girl byeeeeeeeeeeee. We all do/make/have/carry regrets. Let’s stop fronting. But we don’t have to continue making them.
You know, as a single person, there are A LOT of things you can do, right? I mean, singles have a whole lotta freedom, flexibility and all sorts of un-married time – but how shall we spend it?
Living my best life now?
Treating myself to whatever (or whoever) my heart desires, irrespective of the cost or consequences?
Last month, I spent most of my time on a whole lotta trains, travelling up and down the UK as part of my work.
On one of my journeys to Birmingham, the train called at Sheffield and I gulped hardddd. The last time I was there, my heart was in a very different space. And where was my heart on this fateful day? Thank God, it was strong.
So strong in fact, that I was able to sidestep an invitation to treat from a stranger I met on the train. Oh yes, we can have great convo, but that doesn’t mean that I wanna marry you and have your babies.
Oh yes, I’m not trying to fall into temptation out ‘ere because I’m not tryna pick up any Baby Ishmaels. All the puns are intended.
Part of my responsibility with this blog is to encourage people to live beyond their marriage plans. That and to be super duper honest.
And my “honest” wants to tell you this: if you wanted to get married, you could have by now. In fact, if you wanna marry this year, you probs could.
Listen, there’s always one somebody and there are ways, so many ways that I need not teach you.
But wait for the punchline: there is life beyond the wedding dress and catching bouquet.
Having been single for a few months now, it was a struggle to drop the weight of wanting these things
because I love love and I’ve always wanted to get married, have those babies and live in the big house with the white picket fence.
Bur what if He doesn’t do it?
Not because He can’t, but because He doesn’t require you to have it.
God forbid! Ah ah!! I rebuke it!! Am I Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego??
I know, I know. God forbid bad thing right, but what if…?
Because I had to ask myself this question.
What if the nearest I came to a veil was adjusting my friend’s own as part of my MOH duties (that’s Maid of Honour for the uninitiated)?
What if the nearest I came to marriage was what I read in the relationship books?
What if the nearest God wanted me to get to the altar was praying on it?
I know. That’s a dirty, bitter pill to swallow. I can’t apologise for it being unpalatable, but I must ask – what if He simply wants you/me/us to wait? Like don’t make an Ishmael, just chill.
Would that be so much?
I get it, the temptation is so heavy right? But wait…
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
– 1 Corinthians 10v13
Yeah, that’s for that.
Yeah but God is sovereign, so He can still turn my mess into a masterpiece? Romans 8v28 and that, so even Ishmaels can be ironed out Steph.
Yeah but no. Isaac wasn’t a response to Ishmael. Isaac was always the promise. Ishmael was the result of pressure and impatience and yeah, God sorted Ishmael out in the end, but he was never entitled to the covenant. Isaac was always the promise babes.
I just wonder why we keep shortchanging ourselves. Like I said at the start, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If Jesus tarries, we can make a whole lotta Ishmaels happen from now until the time we meet our Beloved. But why? Why waste you heart? Or theirs? Why abuse the grace.
We in August 2019 – we need to think about our actions. Not even stop making Ishmaels and calling them Isaacs – how about we stop making Ishmaels altogether?
Until next week…