In Genesis we read about Abraham and Sarah. They were highly capable people who had learned how to manage their lives pretty effectively. Yet, their life-management skills had, for 90 years, been unable to control the outcome of the one thing they both desperately wanted to control – giving birth to a son. Mr. & Mrs. Life-Manager couldn’t even manage to produce one son. God broke into their lives and made them a promise in Genesis 12: 2 where He said, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Later in the story, when Abraham still had no son, he tried to control the outcomes of God’s promise. In Genesis 15: 2-3 Abraham proposed what he believed to be a good solution to the baby issue. He said to God, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? . . . You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” In other words, Abraham had a hard time believing God would actually give him his own son, so he proposed that perhaps God really meant for Abraham’s household servant Eliezer to be his heir. But God made it very clear what He intended to do for Abraham. In Genesis 15: 4-5 God responded to Abraham's plan saying, “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir. . . look up at the heavens and count the stars —if indeed you can count them . . . So shall your offspring be.” God, and God alone, would overcome Abraham and Sarah’s inability to manage getting pregnant.But Mr. & Mrs. Life-Manger couldn’t stop trying to manage their situation. Abraham and Sarah continued trying to orchestrate the outcomes. In Genesis 16: 1-4 we read: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my servant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian servant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.With the words, “the Lord has kept me from having children” Sarah revealed her deep suspicion that God wasn’t really going to provide what He’d promised, and that she and her husband would need to take matters into their own hands. Does that sound like familiar emotional territory for most of us? So Sarah and Abraham tried to "help God" produce an outcome that, in their minds, was at least a close approximation of what God promised. Sure, it might not end up being exactly what God promised, but a close approximation is better than nothing. Ever tried to "help God" make His promises happen in your life? How did it work out?