Friday, November 12, 2010

Walking with Abraham

Lately I've been feeling like Abraham. It isn't that I've watched a nephew's city burn to the ground. It isn't that I'm 100+ years old. It isn't that I want to sacrifice my son. When I think of Abraham, I think of a man who knew God was in control, yet still had no real idea exactly where he was going and what he was going to do. Abraham has always seemed like a man who very greatly wanted to seek and serve God, but, as we all do, had questions and thoughts about when God was going to completely come through. He knew God would be true to His word, but it is clear that Abraham still had his doubts and worries. In moments of questioning, Abraham did thinks I doubt he was proud of. By the end of Abraham's life though, it seemed that these moments had tempered him and molded him into a stronger person with more trust in God than when he began his journey.

I can only pray that the same happens to me. Lately my life has been a confusing swirl of events. Unlike Abraham, I don't have God actually speaking to me, and guiding me, but I do have His promises that He will take care of me and will open doors. I really have a hard time believing that Abraham would have put up his son for sacrifice if he had received Isaac two or three years into his journey. Abraham had many things to experience and learn before he could reach that moment. While I had made plans to get into secular work instead of going back into preaching, it doesn't seem like that is God's desire. If I really wanted to, I could stay out of preaching for the rest of my life, but I told God that I would go through the doors He opened, and while some doors seemed to close as soon as I was going to go through them, preaching was not one of them.

There are things I would not have learned had I gone right back into preaching and not explored my options. My first preaching work left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the preaching life. There wasn't any reason you could name to make me want to get back into that life. If I had gone back into preaching as soon as I could I wouldn't want to do it. I might be providing for my family, but I would end up forsaking the Lord, if not in action, at least in heart. This time has allowed me to grow closer to my family. Many marital problems arise from financial worries, and when you're unemployed and living back with your parents/in-laws, marital stress does not follow far behind. I'd like to say that I was the victim, but instead I was criminal. I really do hate what my wife had to endure because of my emotions, but I do believe it only helped in the end once I realized how I was acting.

In the end, it has really been a humbling experience. I'm sure I could think up many more things I have learned, but overall they fall into the area of trusting God and knowing He is in control. It isn't always fun to endure as long as we are willing to remember the Controller and seek His guidance, how can we go wrong?

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