Read Genesis 15:5-15

Jesus told [Thomas], “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”—John 20:29 (NIV)

I thought I knew well the story of God’s promise to Abram from today’s reading—that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Yet I had not really considered the rest of the passage. God told Abram to look up at the sky and count the stars in the heavens “if you are able to” (v. 5, NRSV). I always assumed that this took place at night, but after the words and events of the next seven verses we read, “As the sun was about to set, Abram went into a trance” (v. 12). This made me wonder if it was broad daylight when God asked Abram to look up at the sky. If so, Abram would not have been able to see any stars, which would underscore the extent of faith and trust that the Lord was asking of him. Just as the stars were present but invisible at that moment, so God was asking Abram to have faith even when the fulfillment wasn’t evident. Abram was willing to fully commit to God’s plan for him.

How often do I expect my prayers to be answered on my schedule, rather than on God’s? God’s timing differs from ours as we are being brought along the path that God has laid before us. Our path forward may not be easy or clearly visible, but we can trust our loving God to keep promises.

Prayer—Faithful God, help us to trust that you will fulfill your promises. In that trust we will walk faithfully with you. Amen.

Thought for the day—I will trust God with my future.

—Kurt Elward, Virginia