God gave Abraham the promise of a son. The fulfillment of that promise was to be the eventual result, but God had purposes set in the plan that preceded the sight of the promise. God’s plan does not just lead to an end; it includes experiences along the way. God sets out to finish us as His product many times before He gives us the finished product that fulfills His promise.
Abraham and Sarah were tired of waiting. They were tired of receiving grace to live in a plan to reveal unconditional qualities in a faith that does not demand evidence. They did not like God’s method of grace. Abraham did not want to express the effect of unconditional love, which is patience. Patience is the outward manifestation of the in-working of God. It is the quality of love. Abraham and Sarah dictated to God and did not receive the method God desired. They lived in the anxiety of self, distressed because nothing had been produced to appease their sight. When the method was not as they wanted it, they frustrated the plan and the product of this frustration was a wild man, Ishmael (Genesis 16:12).
When we do not enter into patience through grace, we frustrate the plan with our inward disturbance. We perplex grace by living in the frustration of love. We do not receive grace to live in God’s plan and to be God’s purpose as an individual, so we exchange grace for our method and act by our own energy in the flesh. We can never produce what is only born in Heaven.