“Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son” (21:2). Surprisingly, fulfilled promises do not always mean smooth sailing. For Abraham, there were conflicts with Abimelech over Sarah and over water rights, as well as argument, shame and anger over Hagar and Ishmael. In the middle of the joy of fulfilled promise, Abraham also experienced difficulty.
Today, through Jesus, we know God’s fulfilled promise is an immediate joy, yet we are also waiting for the fullness of God’s coming kingdom. We embrace today’s grace in the middle of challenges and long for a “city whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10).