|As I immersed myself into Sarah’s story,
I noticed a parallel with my own maturing process. I had been a shy and
nearly mute child and young woman. I know from experience that the phrase
“painfully shy” is an accurate one.
Sarah’s thoughts and desires are not recorded in the account of Abraham up until she was nearly 76 years old. (Genesis 12:5) The record only shows her acquiescing to whatever was happening or being asked of her.
Nearing my forties, I was provoked into thinking, deciding, and speaking for myself when others began to destroy the illusion of unity in my church family. My words formed in anger could not restore relationships or rebuild this figurative house of “wood, hay, and stubble” that was being burnt up in this conflict.
Sarah found her voice when she despaired of having the family she wanted. (Genesis 16:1-3) She looked at her physical assets and decided on a plan of action. She speaks for the first time. Only she mistakenly speaks her words, her plan, her way. The result was disastrous for her family. (Genesis 16:1-6) She didn’t bring about the happy results she had hoped to achieve.
I suffered the consequences of my anger and isolation until I confessed the hatred and bitterness I had nurtured. When I chose to forgive and accept God’s forgiveness, I found a better voice—my own voice, but a voice that aims to speak God’s words of truth and love.
Sarah spoke to Abraham again with confidence after Isaac is born. She realized that God had a purpose for her. She isn’t just Abraham’s wife; she is Sarah, mother of nations. She isn’t just Sarai, Princess, but Sarah, Queen. She has a right and a duty to speak. This time she speaks God’s words fully within his will. And God tells Abraham to listen to her. He didn’t mean listen and consider. He meant listen and do. (Genesis 21:9-12; Galatians 4:30)
Sarah found her voice because God gave her
the assurance that she too was an heir of his promised inheritance. (Genesis
17:15-21) Sisters in Christ, we, too, are heirs of God’s promised inheritance
with the same rewards and responsibilities as our brothers in Christ. (I
Peter 3:7; Galatians 3:28-29) Every woman in Christ is one of the “each
one of us” who is apportioned grace by Christ “to prepare God’s people
for works of service.” (Ephesians 4:7-16) We can rejoice with Sarah at
God’s graciousness towards us.
By Scarlett Stough