"But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children."
In our day, if a couple is unable to have children, it can be a source of great sadness. In the Ancient Near East, if a woman failed to produce an heir for her husband, she experienced far more than sadness. She experienced profound shame in her family and social circle because of what was believed to be her failure to fulfill her human and wifely purpose. Thus what we read in a simple verse about Sarai defined her life, filling her with remorse and opening her to public disdain. Here, in few words, was the shameful center of Sarai's sad existence.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you experienced anything in your life that is like Sarai's barrenness? How have you dealt with your own shame?
PRAYER: Gracious God, first of all, the case of Sarai reminds us to pray for those we know who would like to have children but haven't been able to do so. Grant them your peace. Give them the desires of their hearts.
Many of us, Lord, relate to Sarai's predicament, even if our shame isn't the same as hers. We have failures in our lives that wound our spirits and bind our hearts. Help us to turn to you for healing, for freedom, for hope. By your grace, set us free from shame so that we might live fully and delightfully. Amen.