Friday, August 27, 2004
Our friends were kind enough to loan my wife and me their second home where we could get away for a couple of days. When you're in somebody else's home, you have to be on your good behavior, like make sure you don't break anything, leave it as you found it. I was having a little difficulty getting the front door unjammed, uh, unlocked I guess, and my wife said, "What are you doing?" And I jokingly said, "Well, I couldn't get it unlocked, so I'm just forcing it open." She said, "No, no, no, no, don't do that." Now there's a reason we had that little dialogue. She panicked right away because, well, she knows my history.
If I was trying to force it open, I would probably break it. Oh, I did get out okay, but she knows I have this tendency to try to make things work if they don't want to work. I sometimes get impatient with things that don't work quickly. In fact, I've been known to force a door handle and break it. There have been a couple of occasions where I have forced a tool, and I broke it. You will probably never lend me anything. I've tried to force a lock, and I broke it. I've tried to force other things, and they broke too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When You Force it, You Break it."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Genesis 16:1 that says, "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, 'The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.'" Verse 4 says, "He slept with Hagar, and she conceived." Now here's the history. Abram and Sarai had been promised a son by God. They had to wait longer than they thought they would have to wait. Apparently, it wasn't working, so guess what Abram tried to do? He said, "Hey, let's force it. I got an idea. We'll help God out." Here's a new verb: "to Hagar." You say wait, wait, isn't Hagar like a name? Isn't that the name of this maidservant; this surrogate mother? Well actually, it is a noun, but, "to Hagar," well, that's a verb. It means to try and make it happen. If you force it - take it from the expert - you break it.
Thirteen years after Abram and Sarai tried to force what God had promised the son God promised came along - Isaac. Now they have a 13-year-old Ishmael on their hands, too. And those two boys were in constant conflict. They're still in conflict today. It's called the Arabs and the Jews descended from Ishmael and Isaac. And the great wars of the world may still be fought over that conflict. All of this happened simply because Abram couldn't wait for God to do it His way and in His time. How easy that is to do.
Right now, maybe there's something in your life that isn't working as you thought it should. Maybe the romance isn't there. Maybe you need to help God out a little bit, you think. Maybe the money isn't there and you need to figure out a way to help God with it. Maybe the future isn't working out the way you want it to. So, you're just going to try to make things happen. Please, don't Hagar. Don't force it. Hagar is a verb. Don't grab a wrong way to get a right thing done. You'll pay for that mistake for a long, long time.
Four thousand years later, people are still paying for Abraham's "Hagar Solution." Look, are you trying to rush it right now? Are you trying to force it? Are you trying to make things happen instead of watching God do it? Would you let go before you break it, and let God make it work when He knows that it's time.