“How old are you?” my grandson asks again. It’s a regular question which I try to regularly dodge.
“How old do you think I am?” I ask back.
His little forehead wrinkles as his eyebrows draw together in concentration. His blue eyes size me up top to bottom and then bottom to top.
“Ninety?” he questions.
Old as Sarah in the Bible.
I used to think God gave us children to keep us humble. I’m pretty sure grandkids take care of any self-pride that might have survived parenting years.
Abraham was about 100-years-old, when Isaac was born. He’s called “as good as dead” in both the book of Romans and in Hebrews (Hebrews 11:12; (Romans 4:18-25). But as infamous as the great Patriarch is, I recently noticed something else about him I’d missed before.
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:20-21 ESV
Abraham had a growing faith.
Chosen from the pocket of paganism, Abraham left his country and family to travel to an unknown land. In Abraham’s journey, God promised an heir. Sarah, already past childbearing, waited with Abraham, an old man while the clock continued to tick for them both. “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21 ESV Click To Tweet
The Apostle Paul writes of Abraham, “He believed against hope,” “he did not weaken in faith,” “he grew strong in his faith,” and “he was fully convinced.” Yet these affirmations seem to conflict in so many ways with what we know about him.
He lied about his wife to save his own skin, putting her dangerously close to being thrown into the arms of two different rulers. Infertility created marital stress and strife. In their impatience they contrived another way to conceive a child, one different than God’s plan. Sarah offered her maid, Hagar, as a surrogate mother, and rather than solve anything, it created all sorts of problems.
Never Too Old to Learn
Yet, in-between the promise and its fulfillment, despite some pretty crucial mistakes, Romans 4 tells us that Abraham grew in faith.
Even though Abraham’s years mounted until he was considered as good as dead, he didn’t roll over and quit. He didn’t give up. He didn’t stop learning in his walk with God, and as a result, Abraham’s faith grew.
…he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God… (Romans 4:20-21 ESV)
I remember some of the long trials in my walk of faith, the kind that kept going not just for a day, or a month, but for years. In those testings, sometimes my faith felt as if it was being chopped away at like a lumberjack chopping at a tree.
As Christ followers we must resist indulging doubt in our faith struggles.
Like Abraham, we must continually crawl back to the Source of our faith, giving glory to God.
If spiritual quagmires pull you downward, reach out to believers who will walk with you. Surround yourself not just with empathizers, but with challengers who will share the burden with you in prayer and in God’s Word.
It is when I step back, and look at my trials through the lens of time, that I see how very faithful He has been. My eyes clear and I can begin to see how He has carried me in the palm of His hand. I see how He provided along the way.
Abraham gave glory to God. In the original, the word “gave” means he “entrusted, committed, put it into God’s care.”
Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Romans 4:3 ESV
An old man, as good as dead, and a 90-year-old wife, gave birth to a healthy son, just as God promised.
“How old are you?” I ask my grandson.
He holds up four fingers.
How about you? How old are you? Are you still growing in your walk with Jesus?
The number of digits in our years holds less importance than the continued growth of our souls.
Committing into God’s care what you see grows trust for what you can’t see. Someday you will look back at a big picture with today’s tiny puzzle piece and marvel at His immense glory.The number of digits in our years holds less importance than the continued growth of our souls. Click To Tweet