I Want it Now!
Genesis 15:1-6 CEB
Part of me feesl like God is Willy Wonka in this scripture and Abram, or Abraham, is Veruca Salt. It's because this whole piece of scripture becomes a test initiated by God. Either Abram would pass and he would be found to be a 'good egg,' or he would 'want it now' and be a 'bad egg.' In case you are a little fuzzy on my analogy, here is a fun video to remind you:
And egg is a great word to use in this text, because an egg, or an heir is what Abram ultimately wants. Yet something is lost in translation. What is happening in scripture is word gymnastics, of sorts, between "heir" and "seed". An heir is one person. A seed, on the other hand, holds the potential to be a group, a collection, a future.
Abram is less concerned, at the moment of this scripture, with the potential, or the seed. He uses it to up the ante with God, almost like the future generations were poker chips to be wagered. His main concern is getting an heir to inherit all that stuff he has accumulated over his life. (Not something to take lightly. Keeping things in the family was a big deal. So much so, there would later be a law where females were only allowed to marry within their tribe to make sure the 'stuff' remains familial.) Still, I can hear Veruca walking among the Geese that lay golden chocolate eggs singing, "I want an heir, I want a real heir."
God is less concerned with the heir and more concerned with the future. In fact, he bridges the "heir" to get to the "seed". God never compares this unborn heir to anything spectacular. He does compare the seed to something wonderful and beautiful: the stars in the sky. God just needs Abram to be patient and wait.
First of all, Abram passes, he is willing to wait and continues to hold the right to be the Father of a great nation. But secondly, there is a bit that stands out, a takeaway for us: In this case Abram's plan, and what Abram wanted, was too small for God's great plan. Small plans can be thrown together overnight. Great plans take time to prepare. God's plans takes time. That is part of the reason we always need to hear, "Don't be afraid." Our immediate needs seem to creep up on us and overshadow our greater needs. God wants to use us, but only if we are able to work on God's schedule and planning, not ours. I know it's difficult. It is difficult to me. Sometimes I think I could be found a "bad egg" and sent down to the trash. Then I realize this conversation was a second chance for Abram to understand. God and Abram had already had this conversation before, only in relation to the dust that surrounded him. It just tells me, God doesn't give up on us, even if we lose patience with God.
Below I have included the Peace Pilgrim's Prayer. I am sure everyone has something they have grown impatient with. Just remember, God's plan is bigger than your plan. "Peace. Be still, and know that I am God."
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