Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Promise of Eden (part five): the Gift of a Son

To Kristenfor sharing her story and her faith with me.

“Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. … Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’” (Genesis 21:1-3, 6).

I ask you one more time to consider the timeless treasure of Genesis 18:1-14. As you read, consider your heart and the teaching that comes with the pondering. God has clearly given me an “ending” for our time together in his Word, but endings have always been difficult for me. So as I type, I am praying that, rather than simple punctuation, God would orchestrate an extraordinary exclamation. A loud shout out from the heavenlies that solidifies his Word with the sacred acclaim of his heart’s love for you. Eden has come to your house this day. Pause to receive your pleasure. (please read and return)

I have a friend. Her story finds its home within Sarah’s. Like Sarah, infertility has gripped her womb. She has struggled with her barrenness over the years…never knowing the fruition of a seeded hope within her flesh. Still and yet, she has come to some conclusions in the matter—some resolutions born out of a painful longing that is able to proclaim an Eden’s pleasure, even though her womb remains silent. Hear now a portion of her words…

“This particular part of scripture is very dear to me. I struggled with infertility for years. My journey has not resulted in a child, but my journey is all about trusting and knowing that nothing is impossible with God. Years ago while struggling with infertility I could have only cried while reading about Sarah and the gift of a child. My story might not have included the birth of a child, but it shouts out about God’s goodness! What God did for me? He healed a broken heart. He filled a place that I only thought a child would fill. He showed me how to listen and look for His answers to my prayers. He taught me to trust Him – and Believe Him!”

Did you catch it? Do you hear the rhythm of Eden’s pulse? It came to my friend, and it comes to each one of us, my friends, in exactly the same way it came to Sarah all those years ago.

Eden arrives with the gift of a Son!

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11).

Over two thousand years ago, God split the sky and pronounced Eden’s arrival with a night star that punctuated the dearest pleasure of our Father’s heart. Some were prepared for his arrival.

Some had…

postured their hearts with expectation for the gift. (part one)

Some had…

remembered the language of covenant spoken by their God through the prophets about a Son’s arrival. (part two)

Some had…

laughed at the thought of bearing a new Way in an old season. (part three)

Some had…

faith enough to believe that nothing was too hard…too extraordinary for Yahweh. (part four)

But in that moment—in that one single act of grace delivered upon Bethlehem’s soil—everyone had…

the Gift of God’s Son, laid at their feet to cradle within their arms and to claim him as their own.

Jesus Christ was, and still is humanity’s ticket home to Eden. He bridged the chasm…

~Between sin’s expulsion and grace’s reception.
~Between a desert dwelling and a garden’s embrace.
~Between “as good as it gets” and “the best is yet to be.”
~Between death and life.
~Between hell and heaven.
~Between earth’s Eden and God’s eternal Eden.

It is an Eden not meant for tomorrow, but a pleasure meant for right now.

My friend understands the pleasure of Eden. Indeed, her story finds its place alongside Sarah’s, for she carries within her fragile frame the promise of God…the gift of a Son. She has found her way back to the garden. To the intimacy, security, and sure liberty that are promised to each one us as we, too, embrace God’s grace and cradle his heart within our own.

Abraham and Sarah enjoyed a season of “newness” within their old. They named their pleasure with a name that reflected the journey which finally brought Eden home to their tent. They named him Laughter.

Undoubtedly, Isaac’s arrival brought a smile across their hearts and a laughter to their souls that had long been buried and almost forgotten. Almost. But the longing for Eden never completely leaves a soul, for God has planted a seed of eternity within the hearts of all men (Ecc. 3:11). And when God sows a seed, there is always hope for a bloom.

And when God speaks a promise, there is never a reason for doubt, for God’s Words speak only one language. Covenant. He speaks with intention and with a plan for seeing seedtime come to harvest. In season and on time, displaying the extraordinary, surpassing, marvelous, wonderful, and distinguishing work of his hands.

I don’t know where you are in relation to the Promise of Eden this day. I do know this. Eden was created with you in mind. It was God’s good pleasure to give us his garden. And even though this life will never allow us a pilgrimage through its literal gates, we have access to its pleasure each time we take hold of his Son and allow him the freedom to fill our aging flesh with the breath that breathes “new” and with the language that speaks covenant.

It has been my privilege to sow this Word alongside you. Some of us share a face to face kind of knowing. Some of us…a blog to blog kind of knowing. But the joy that fills my heart this night, is my belief that most of us share a sister to sister…a brother to sister…a child to child kind of knowing. For we are sons and daughters of the Most High King. He is our Father, and we are called to an eternal inheritance that far exceeds our now. Indeed, it begins now, but it will finish in Eden. The Garden of our forever. The Promise of our next. The home where our Father awaits to punctuate our ending with the extraordinary exclamation of our beginning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen.

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Many thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in this study. Feel free to go back and read the ones you missed. This has been a writing of obedience for me, and I feel blessed to share it with you. Leave comments below or email me with specific concerns (email button on sidebar). May God continue to bless you all with a rich portion of Eden on this side of heaven.

(allrightreserved, elaine olsen – 2008)

The Promise of Eden (part four): The Platform for God’s Extraordinary

Thank you for joining me in part four of a five part series on Genesis 18:1-14. Please read this portion of Scripture aloud before you begin. May God bless the reading of his Word as only he can!

“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.’” (Genesis 18:13-14).

My father often tells me that “the best is yet to be.” His hopeful admonition usually punctuates a difficult season in my journey. On these occasions, I cling hard and fast to the idea that “what is to come,” far exceeds all that “has been” or currently “is.” But most days, when all is routine and not so difficult, I fall prey to believing that “what is” really is as good as it gets. Forty-two years of a lot of living lends itself to vision fixed at ground level, to a mind melded toward all things temporal, and to a heart shaped for selfish pursuit. I have grown quite accustomed to life as usual. So when my spirit is confronted with the sacred truth from a Holy God, who always breathes a message of something better, my flesh often retreats behind the wall of doubt. The echoes of my faithless laughter drown out the whispers of his faith-filled promises.

Promises measured according to God’s standards…God’s timing…God’s vision. Promises which always remain fixed at the eternal level and, therefore, prompt God to ponder my disbelief and ask the question of me that he asked of his servant, Sarah, long ago.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Hard things. Things I find difficult. Things like parenting. Sickness. Dieting. Releasing my grip of things and of people. Jealousy. Grief. Death. Sin-filled acts against humanity. Complacency in the church. Betrayal. Loneliness. Hopes long deferred and, yet, not so easily forgotten. Hard things. Things not easily understood or readily accepted, yet often the “things” that God chooses as a platform to display his marvelous and extraordinary workings.

Sarah knew about hard things.

She had spent her life as a tent dweller—a nomad keeping in stride with her husband’s calling to follow God. She was labeled with a false identity by her husband (a.k.a. “sister”) and therefore, handed over in a plan to procure a king’s favor…twice (see Genesis 12, 20). She harbored a barren womb while others around her enjoyed the fruits of motherhood. She walked within an aged frame that boasted a sad heart, with little hope for anything new. Indeed, hard living was Sarah’s portion, and it was a journey that required a difficult faith.

Hard. The Hebrew transliterated word for “hard” in this passage is palah meaning “to be marvelous, be wonderful, be surpassing, be extraordinary, be separate by distinguishing action.”[i] Is anything, therefore, too marvelous…too wonderful…too surpassing…too extraordinary…too distinguishing for our God to accomplish? He who spoke the world into existence, who formed the flesh of man and fashioned him after his image, …is there anything too hard for him?

So often I am tempted to keep God in his heavens. To limit his extraordinary workings because, quite frankly, I have deemed some portions of my life “too hard” for him. My understanding of who God is and what he desires for my life, is often framed through the temporal lenses of a past that boasted a “less than” existence. A past littered with let downs, with disappointments, with dreams that have died a hard death, and with a whole lot of “life as usual.” He didn’t author those seasons; sinful choices usually led me there, and yet my flesh is tempted to label him with the responsibility.

If God really loved me, then life would have been different. Life wouldn’t be so hard.

The fact is…

Life is hard.

The overriding fact is…

Our hard is God’s specialty.

God did not land our lives on planet earth so that we could just “pass through” into our next. While here, he means for us to live. To move beyond what “once was” into the wonderful, surpassing, extraordinary, and distinguishing grace of a God who designed us for abundance. Who loves us beyond reasonable bounds and who delights in mediating his majesty into our “hard” things.

It is a difficult trust…this letting go and believing God for our extraordinary. We lose some control with our relinquishment, but what we gain far exceeds what we expect. We gain Promise—a pleasured, edenic portion of life that flows with the abundant love of a Father’s heart. To get to there, God often brings us to the outer edges of our faith and asks us to trust him for something more…something better…something best. To move beyond our faithless laughter and to find that, indeed, he has postured us for new life even though we are old in years and past the age of believing we can “bear” such newness—a birthing of something far more sacred than routine and life as usual.

God is doing this for me. He is pushing me to the edge of a difficult trust, but it is an edge I am willing to embrace for I know that what awaits me on the other side is something that far exceeds my current—a surpassing and distinguishing “new” that births from an old plan, set in motion before the very foundation of the world.

My daddy is right. The best is yet to be, and so this day, I come to my Father and offer him my “hard.” I’ll ask him for a portion of Eden’s pleasure for God created Eden with my pleasure in mind. And so I pray…

Come, Lord Jesus, and mediate your majesty into my hard. What I deem difficult and even impossible, you deem as a perfect platform for your extraordinary workings. I cannot imagine life beyond my usual. But you can. You did, and now I ask you for the trust that I will need to bring me to my perfected end. Forgive me when I limit your capacity for such a working. Forgive me for the times when I forego your extraordinary in favor of my ordinary and my usual. Humbly, I confess that I sometimes settle for less, even when you have designed me for more. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind to conceive that nothing…absolutely nothing…is too hard for you. Amen.

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Stay tuned for our fifth and final devotion coming later this week. I welcome your participation by clicking on the word “comment” below and posting your thoughts. If you haven’t visited Liz at Kentucky Bound, you might want to take a look. She lives in Eden! I’m not kidding.

(allrightsreserved, elaineolsen – 2008)

[i] Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. “Hebrew Lexicon entry for ‘Pala’”. “The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon”. (

The Promise of Eden (part 3): the Hope of a Fragile Yearning

Please take some time to read our scripture focus, Genesis 18:1-14; not because you are unfamiliar with the story, but because with each reading comes fresh perspective. A narrowed focus. A “shutting out” of the world and a “centering in” on God’s turf–his home court, where he holds the advantage. How I pray that today’s focus will move your heart and your will closer to Him…to home…all the way back to Eden’s embrace. Would you pray for such a walk? It is possible. In fact it is a sure promise when God takes the lead.

I wonder today if any of you could boast an old heart—a life long-lived with the scars to prove it. I imagine that many of us feel as Sarah did. Worn out. Advanced in years. Past the age of bearing anything new. Our chronological age may speak otherwise, but the language of our souls speak old. What started out as a life of dreams and hopes and possibilities (remember the dances of our youth?) has now faded to a suppressed existence. What once held the high expectation of our hearts has long been buried beneath seasons of wandering and of pitching our tents along the sands of indifference.

Sarah hosted an old heart. Not only was she fragile in frame, she was fragile in spirit. The womb within her had gone dry and no longer held the possibility of birthing the promise that her husband was promised almost twenty-five years earlier. At almost ninety years of age, Sarah was doing what, I imagine that, some of us are doing this day.

Simply walking the thing through. Living a desert’s existence with little hope for change. It is a walk that I have made, and even now, I understand the exhaustion that comes from dwelling within a desert’s heat.

Good news! God comes to the desert.

He came to Sarah’s desert to plant a seed a promise on his way to proffer some destruction (see Genesis 19).

“The LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” (Genesis 18:10-12).

Sarah’s pleasure? A child. A covenant promise long ago spoken, yet a fresh wounding every time a baby’s cry or a child’s laughter pierced the ears of her desire. Her pleasure. The Hebrew transliterated word for pleasure in this verse is ‘eden meaning “luxury, dainty, delight, finery.”[i] From this same root word comes the name given to the garden of all beginnings. Of all luxuries, delights, and finery. Eden. The birth place of God’s creative genius.

Sarah wanted an Eden moment—a pleasure birthed within the aged frame that now cloaked her deferred hope. Her dreams lay buried beneath the blanket of a desert floor where no luxuries…no delights…and no finery from God’s original garden could be found. Only days of living within the confines of a tent and nights of lingering beneath the stars. Of looking up and wondering if one of those stars would birth from her womb. As time measured its cadence with deliberate silence, Sarah’s dreams for the pleasure of Eden were diminished by the echoes of a faithless laughter and a heart that had grown old.

Eden was yesterday, and this was her now and now seemed too far removed from the pleasure of the garden. A garden that was forsaken through sin. A garden that remained illusive…just beyond a heart’s reach. Just beyond a sin’s taste.

So much was lost in that one moment when God’s created chose the forbidden. Creation stood in pregnant pause for the righteous wrath of its Creator, but even then, grace mediated its way upon the soil. God gave mercy when mercy was unmerited, but there would be a cost. A consequence. A loss that banished a people from experiencing the full measure of Eden’s pleasure.

The loss of intimacy. No more walks in the cool of the day with the Father.

The loss of security. No more lush abundance and provision of neither the land, nor its borders to parameter their safety.

The loss of liberty. No more moments of raw exposure…no more freedom in nakedness.

Yes, there would be a cost for sin. And sin would be the chasm that kept God’s children from walking back home to Eden. It still is. And for Sarah, her pleasure—her Eden—seemed too far a walk for one so old and for one whose womb had shriveled to barren hopelessness.

Good news! God came to her desert to plant a seed of promise within the walls of her shriveled hope. He came to bring the promise of pleasure—a portion of Eden—to her tent in the heat of the day. He comes today to do the same for each one of us, for nothing…absolutely nothing is too hard for our Lord (stay tuned for part 4)!

Perhaps this day you are longing for a little pleasure…for your own promise of Eden. God longs to offer you the same portion of covenant that he offered Sarah and Abraham all those many years ago. This is the power of our God. He transcends time and space to mediate his way and his will into our lives if we will allow him some shade beneath our tent.

The same breath that breathed creation into existence is the same breath that comes to your tent, even now, to breathe the newness of Eden into your old. God’s speak is sacred and meant for each one of us, and so I pray…

Come Lord Jesus to my heart this day and breathe Eden’s promise into my frame. Forgive me for the times when I limit its pleasure to yesterday’s existence. My heart is old. My spirit is weak, and my flesh is tired. Create in me a new heart, Father. A heart that beats with a renewed and right spirit and with a fresh perspective for the possibilities that lie ahead. You have designed me to inhabit the eternal pleasure that comes with a garden’s walk, and so I offer my hands and my heart for the road ahead. Lead me, Father…all the way home…back to Eden’s embrace. Amen.

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Please feel free to leave your comments below by clicking on the word “comment” and sharing your thoughts. You can sign in as an anonymous participant if you don’t have a blogger account.

[i] Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. “Hebrew Lexicon entry for ‘eden’”. “The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon.”

(allrightsreserved, elaineolsen, 2008)

The Promise of Eden (part two): The Language of Covenant

“Then the LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.” (Genesis 18:10).

Take some time this day to read, again, our scripture from Genesis 18:1-14. Allow yourself participation in the scene. Hear the words of covenant as spoken by covenant God, afresh and anew in your heart this day. This will be our focus.

Covenant language is not something we understand. We are a promise-making, promise-breaking society. Our word is only as good as our depth, and most days we run shallow. We are surfers, gliding atop the waves of life with little thought of anchoring our words…our souls…to something deeper. Something stable. Someone solid.

A someone named Yahweh…LORD. A covenant speaking, covenant keeping God. He knows about making promises intended for keeping. There are no “gotcha moments” or “maybes” with him. When he utters promise, it is a finished word—a completed history that comes to fruition with the passage of time. His time…not ours. When God says, “I will”…he does. Hovering between his spoken promise and the completion of that promise exists a faith journey that requires trust. And trust is sometimes a difficult embrace.

It was for Sarah. For nearly twenty-five years she had wandered in the desert of her “maybe.” Maybe this year would be the year for her womb to know fulfillment, but with each year that passed, her trust began to fade. Her hope for a child found its deferment…buried beneath the aged flesh that framed her want. Years earlier, her husband took a night walk with this covenant God where the language of covenant was spoken—something about stars and descendants and a night sky filled with a kingly heritage. That had been then, but this was her now. And right now, Sarah was unprepared and, perhaps, unwilling to receive another “maybe.” A long season of waiting (nearly 90 years) boasted the laughter of her doubt.

“So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” (Genesis 18:12).

And therein lies our pause for this day…

God’s “I will” and our “will I’s?”.

I don’t know about you, but I have had a few “will I’s?” in this season of my current. Questions that voice my doubt. Self-centered seeking that asks…

Will I ever get a book published?
Will I ever own my own home?
Will I be able to pay my bills?
Will I ever lose this weight?
Will I ever be able to memorize Scripture?
Will I ever fulfill what I perceive to be my life’s calling?
Will I ever fully be able to articulate my faith?
Will I ever be able to love others with agapao?
Will I ever manage this balancing act I call my life?
Will I ever be satisfied?
Will I ever get to preach again?
Will I ____________________?

How about you? What are some of the “will I’s?” that inhabit your heart this day? Yours are not mine, but all of them issue forth from our want. Perhaps some of them from our deep well of desire…of lingering hopes that have known deferment for a long season. Like Sarah, we are tempted with our laughter when God makes a visitation to our tent to remind us of spoken covenant—the “I will” from the “I AM” who comes to make good on his word. God intentioned promises that proclaim…

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
I will remain in you if you remain in me (John 15:4).

I will cause you to bear much fruit if you remain in me (John 15:5).
I will give you whatever you ask if you remain in me and my words remain in you (John 15:7).
I will send the Holy Spirit to be with you always (John 15:26, 16:7).
I will see you again (John 16:22).
I will provide for your needs (Matthew 6:33).
I will give to you because of your asking…your seeking…your knocking (Matthew 7:7-8).
I will love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
I will work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).
I will acknowledge you before my Father because you have acknowledged me before men (Matthew 10:32).
I will write my law upon your hearts and minds. (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10).
I will be your God. (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10).
I will return (Acts 1:11).
I will _____________________.

No “gotchas”…no “maybes.” Only absolutes because our God speaks only one language. Covenant. His “I will” will always trump our “will I’s?”. Let me write that again, just so you are clear.

God’s “I will” will always trump our “will I’s?”. Why?

Because his words are couched in faithful promise. Our words are laced with questioning doubt. His words run deep. Our words run shallow, and this day, he asks us to ponder the chasm between.

Before we get to Eden (and we are headed there with the next devotion), we must explore this chasm. God required the same of Abraham and Sarah. He asked them to trust a little longer. To believe a little deeper. To linger a little further into the sure probability of seeing promise come to pass. He requires the same from us this day.

As you and I consider the “I will” of our covenant Father, are you willing to trust him a little longer? To believe him a little deeper and to linger a little further within the parameters of his promise for your life? I sure hope so because what awaits you on the other side of your pause is the promise of Eden. A return to the garden of your sacred beginnings. It is a trip I want to make, and I want to make it with you. And so I pray…

Get us there Father…to a portion of sacred trust that walks us all the way home to Eden. You know the way. You made the way, and through our study of your covenant promise, we come closer to tasting the delight of the garden as it was meant to be tasted. Walk us through our “will I’s?” until we safely arrive on the shore of your “I will”. You are covenant God. Yahweh. Promise is your language. Write it across my heart. Penetrate my shallow and pen it deeply within the fabric of my faith. Amen.

As you linger in the truth of God’s Word this day, please add your thoughts by clicking on the word “comment” below and offering some salt and light to our ponderings. Feel free to sign in as an “anonymous” participant if you so desire. I am praying that God’s Word would transcend time and history to become a “now” Word within your spirit even now.

PS: If you have an extra moment, please surf over to Liz’z blog, Kentucky Bound. You will understand why once you arrive.

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(allrightsreserved, elaineolsen – 2008)

The Promise of Eden (part one): The Posture of an Expectant Heart

“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great tree of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.” (Genesis 18:1).

This day, I invite you to sacred participation—an opportunity for you to come alongside your God and partake of a privilege given to you as a believer in Christ. It is privilege that, unfortunately, is often forsaken for the need of the immediate. Making time to absorb God’s Word into your very core is a pursuit of intention. The seeds of his truth will never embed within a soul’s soil without some cultivation. And so, this week, I want to dig, to plant, and then to water some of the seeds of Genesis 18:1-14 into my soil and to allow you the opportunity for the same. Thus, the invitation to sacred participation is open. Come and feast on God’s Word.

Take a moment now to read Genesis 18:1-14, out loud if possible, and posture your hearts to receive.

Posturing the heart to receive the promise of God is today’s focus.

For nearly twenty-five years Abraham had been wandering in the land of Promise…waiting for God to make good on his word. A word that had earlier promised him a night-sky filled with the lineage of descendants. So far? Only one star. A boy named Ishmael, birthed through the plans of man rather than through the promise of God.

Abraham believed God…believed that somehow all things would work out for a good and perfect end. But at this particular moment…on this particular day…in this particular season of aged living, Abraham did, what I imagine that he did on most days as he wandered within the heated boundaries of promise. He waited beneath the shade of tree. And thus begins the “posture” of an expectant heart.

An expectant heart…waits. (Genesis 18:1). Abraham’s heart waited under the great oak trees of Mamre…a word in the Hebrew language meaning “strength or fatness.” He picked the right location in which to do his waiting…a place of rest and shelter from the heat of the desert. Can I say the same? Most days, my “pausing” for the promises of God is couched within the heated sands of my current chaos, as I offer up my quick prayers amidst an even quicker pace. Rather than finding my rest beneath the strength of a shade tree, I posture my heart for a quick fix beneath the heat of a sun that blinds and blisters and bleeds a soul dry.

And so I say…teach me, father Abraham.

An expectant heart…asks. (Genesis 18:2-3). Abraham, upon noticing his visitors’ approach, invited his visitors to remain. “He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.’” Scripture gives no indication that Abraham was immediately aware of God’s identity, but Abraham was quick to realize that a visit from a “stranger” held more excitement for him than the usual of his routine. And so he asked for God to pause and to find his rest beneath his tent.

And so I say…teach me, father Abraham.

An expectant heart…attends. (Genesis 18:4-8). Abraham made ready for his guests. He monitored the surroundings in order to create an environment of sacred fellowship. It was his custom to feed and to water his guests from the abundance of the land. He brought his best as an offering of his heart. No left-overs for God. No “less than” laid before the feet of his Father. Abraham attended this particular visitation with selective and choice provision. He did what he needed to do to make sure that his guests felt welcomed.

And so I say…teach me, father Abraham.

An expectant heart…lingers. (Genesis 18:8). Abraham lingered with his guests. He did not rush a visitation. He allowed them their rest within his tent while he stood in close proximity. When God, by sacred invitation, comes to our tent…when God finds his rest within our hearts and through our attending…we would be wise to linger within earshot. The closer we get to him…the clearer his voice. And when God speaks, I don’t want miss his words because of my distant lingering. I want to press my ear to his lips and feel the breath of promise as he breathes it over my frame.

And so I say…teach me, father Abraham.

An expectant heart…receives. (Genesis 18:10, 14). Abraham listened as God, once again, spoke promise over his and Sarah’s life. God reminded him of a night sky and of the stars that would illuminate its darkness. A star that, in accordance with his perfect timing, would make an appearance in a year’s time. Abraham received the words. So did Sarah…sort of. Her laughter spoke the witness of her receptive heart, but that is another story for another day. Regardless of their response…both received God’s promise. A spoken promise that visited their tent because their lives were postured with expectation.

And so I say…teach me, father Abraham.

The posture of an expectant heart is a heart that…

Waits. Asks. Attends. Lingers. Receives.

So often we miss the visitation of God because we neglect to posture our lives with sacred expectancy. Expectations frame our forever, and when expectation is couched in “less than” limitations, then promise is never tasted as God meant for it to be tasted. Not only tasted…but absorbed down deep into the marrow of our want…to the birthplace of our dreams, our hopes, and our sacred possibilities.

God means for our lives to breath with promise, and so this day, I pray…

Come to my tent, Lord. Today I wait for your arrival. I ask for your presence. I attend to our time by offering you the best portion of my heart. I linger close to hear your voice. I bow ready to receive your promise into my life. You have taught me through the witness of Abraham. Thank you, Father, for your words of covenant that breathe true and that call me to shine as a starry witness to their current and sure fulfillment. Amen.

Feel free to share your thoughts about the “posture of an expectant heart” by clicking on the word “comments” below. If you don’t have a blogger account, you can add your comments as an “anonymous” contributor.

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(allrightsreseved, elaineolsen, April – 2008)

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