The summer after eighth grade our family moved. It meant – new friends and a new school.
The first Sunday in our new home we went to church and I met a few girls my age. Over the course of the summer I made friends with Becca. We sat together in Sunday school and we sat up front with “The Youth” in big church. After all, we were starting high school in the fall.
Becca was popular and I saw her as my new friend.
Then school started.
First day – I walked into my new school and saw Becca standing in a group. Gathering my courage, I walked over expecting my friend to welcome me in the circle. Instead she stepped back like she didn’t know me, like I was an unwelcome stranger.
Like a balloon with a pinhole, my spirit quickly deflated.
I dreaded seeing Becca the following Sunday but she acted as if nothing had happened. After Sunday school I asked her – Why? She confessed she was trying to impress one of the football players and that had not gone as planned. She promised to do better.
I forgave her and we were back friends. Becca and me.
Senior year began – And a new girl was in our class. Once again Becca ignored me and rushed the new girl. The insecurity and unforgiveness I had experienced three years ago were back in an instant. She had betrayed me again. I knew that she would. After all, I wasn’t good enough. All the lies we believe when we’re hurt.
This is how I think Sarah must have felt about Abraham. On their journey to a new land they were forced to detour through Egypt in search of food. Sarah’s beauty caught the eye of the Pharaoh. Abraham told the Pharaoh that she was just his sister. (Yes, his sister!)
Abraham explained, if the pharaoh thought that they were married then he would kill him so Sarah would be free to marry. Sarah went along and was taken to the palace spa in preparation for her wedding to the Pharaoh. He found out the truth and in frustration, released her sending her back to Abraham with extra food and livestock to boot.
In my thinking, Sarah had to figure out how to forgive Abraham…how to put his betrayal behind her and go back to being his wife.
But it happened again.
Same song, second verse – This time they needed to cross through a country and again the King noticed Sarah’s beauty. (She must have been gorgeous since she was in her 60’s at this point!) AGAIN Abraham denied being married in order to save his own skin. Again, the king found out and released Sarah with food and livestock for fear of being cursed by Abraham’s God.
Again Sarah had to figure out how to walk out forgiveness…how to heal her heart after another betrayal.
Fast forward – God promises them a son…YEARS go by and FINALLY at the age of 90, Sarah gives birth to a perfect baby boy, Isaac. He was their promised child. Their whole story seemed it was about this promised baby. I can only imagine how she must have felt about this sweet child. After all, she had tried to get pregnant for a very long time.
Years later – Most scholars believe Isaac would have been in his thirties when Abraham took him and a couple of servants and traveled three days to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. But he didn’t tell Sarah his plans.
I can almost imagine – After they were well gone, one of Sarah’s handmaids ‘accidentally’ spilled-the-beans about Abraham’s plans. How could she not tell her mistress?
Abraham had lied again.
All of her hurt feelings must have flooded back. He was a liar! The moment she was presented with the story, all the lies from the past…that he was no good, that she wasn’t worthy…were thrown back in her face.
We have the advantage of knowing how the story ends. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute The LORD stops Abraham and spares Isaac.
But Sarah didn’t know this.
We have all been betrayed, most likely more than once. It is in the presence of our Lord that we can give up our pain. His plan is for us to walk in freedom.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18
The truth is that almost every writer in the New Testament tells us Abraham was a good man; a man of faith.
and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. James 2:23
Like Sarah, we have to learn to give our pain to God, trust Him and let Him keep the hurt.
Dear friend, my prayer is that you make the choice to give your betrayal and unforgiveness to Jesus and trust Him. He paid for it at Calvary. My prayer is that you walk in the freedom Jesus paid for.
Read more about Sarah in our “Learning From Their Example” series.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.