When you study the lives of Abraham and his descendants, it becomes obvious that they waited a long time for the ‘normal’ milestones of life to occur.
Although they lived longer than we do now, the waiting periods were still long, and the relative life stages are comparable enough to ours. Abraham and Sarah were old before they had children, and then Sarah had only one son. Isaac was about 40 when he married Rebekah, who then waited nineteen years to have children. Her sons were over 40 when they married – Jacob was around 64! He and Rachel had to wait 7 years after they met and fell in love to be married, and then Rachel’s father secretly gave Jacob her sister in marriage instead of her. So now Rachel had to share him with her older sister. Once they were married, Rachel waited perhaps 20 years to have children; after Joseph was born, it was several more years before she could have another child – and then she died giving birth to him. Wow. (I always think that story’s so sad). Joseph was sold into slavery at 17, was a slave or in prison for another 16 years (half of his life – and the best part of it; the youngest, generally most energy-filled, exciting, growing portion – by the time he was released). His career didn’t start until he was 30. Yet he is one of the best heroes of the Old Testament… he’s definitely one of mine: adept at whatever he turned his hand/mind to, faithful and honest, determined, smart, loving and just generally awesome. Moses was 40 when he glimpsed his true calling, but ran away from it and was 80 by the time he accepted and began to live it – and began his greatest work.
Just look at that list of amazing, very interesting, and flawed-yet-brilliant people, and see how much they had to contend with, just as far as time is concerned. They didn’t grow up, get married, have a perfect career, kids, house, car, etc. all like clockwork. Their rellies couldn’t sit back and breathe easy because they were sorted. They had to suffer and struggle through disappointment after setback after ironic slap-in-the-face – and they were God’s chosen special family. From the lives of these mighty people I learn that my life story so far, the one without a lot of the milestones that my society expects and that I’d like to have experienced or at least begun already, is not so much an aberration but actually in a similar mould as theirs. They had to wait, as wonderful and important as they were. It’s good, okay, and normal to wait. God allowed, or perhaps in some instances caused, His chosen servants and most illustrious children to have to wait for their cherished desires and ordinary events, so if He allows me to do so, I’m in good company.