by Kim Starr
Do you remember pinky promises? You and a friend had just agreed on something and to seal the deal you would each extend your pinky finger, intertwine them and thus, you had completed the pinky promise.
As we grew up, we would share information with friends beginning with the sentence, “Swear to me that you won’t ….” The friend would swear, often to God, that the information would not be divulged. Of course, more often than not, the friend would tell just one of his/her closest friends and soon the secret would be out.
As life progressed, we entered into more agreements that often involved signing contracts: accepting a job, renting an apartment, buying or leasing a car, buying a house, or getting married. If any of those contracts were broken, there were consequences, many involving a lawyer.
The point is that a promise, at any age, is important business. Our passage today recalls the promise God made to Abraham to bless him and give him many descendants. Abraham knew He could rely on God’s promise, and he knew that the promise would happen. What Abraham did not count on was how long he would have to wait. Waiting is often what gets us in trouble. After a time, Abraham decided it would be a good idea to help God and he got Sarah’s maid, Hagar, pregnant. That was not what God had planned and, when the time was right, Abraham’s wife, Sarah, became pregnant and God’s promise was fulfilled.
Waiting on God can be hard. Too often, just like Abraham, we take matters into our own hands. Even so, God is sure, steadfast, faithful and fulfills and keeps His promises. We can count on Him. God gave us the Bible so we could be encouraged by others who have had to wait and who saw God’s promise come true. By reading His Word and seeing His faithfulness over and over, we can hold fast to the hope He has given us that His promises will be fulfilled.
So, the next time you are asked to promise something, whether it is a pinky promise or a multi-paged, miniscule-print document you have to sign, remember that making a promise is important and is a binding agreement. You only need look to God, His promises, and see how He keeps them, to see the significance.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for making promises to us that will fulfill your ultimate plan. Thank you for challenging us to be faithful to you and to wait for your plan to happen. Thank you for forgiving us when we decide we have a better plan than you. Please help us remember that your promises, and our promises to others, are important, significant and should not be taken lightly. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.