A very intriguing thing happens in Abraham’s story that I never noticed until this past week: Abraham prays to God and God heals the wombs of numerous women (Gn 20:17-18). Now there’s a lot more to this story in Genesis 20 and you can read that for yourself, but this part of the story stands out for its own reasons. Here’s Abraham who has been waiting to have a child with his wife Sarah for a long, long time. They have even gone to lengths to try to have a child through some other means, because they have essentially given up and laughed at God’s promise that He would one day give them a kid through Sarah.
And now God uses Abraham to pray for the wombs of several women and they open right up (granted, their wombs are more or less closed in the first place because of a curse of sorts that Abraham has unintentionally put on them). Yes, Abraham is used to pray for something over someone else that he himself doesn’t have and has coveted for decades and those people actually receive the blessing from God! He’s longed for it. He’s been promised it. And now God is using him to give away what he doesn’t have.
We hear amazing stories today of sick people healing the sick and giving away health that they themselves don’t have. As upsetting as these stories probably are to the person doing the praying, it is an amazing testimony to the rest of us. What incredible faithfulness. To those who do such things—you’re not alone. Abraham was there too. And while we don’t always know what God will do, we do know that Abraham eventually does receive the healing that he and Sarah were waiting for. In fact, as Genesis 20 ends and Genesis 21 begins, Sarah finally has her baby.