When our kids were little and had lost a favourite toy, usually the one they couldn’t sleep with out, we would pray. I cannot count how many times the toy would turn up immediately. Tear streaked faces would burst into smiles while Craig and I would think to ourselves “I looked under that cushion three times!” or “I checked all those pockets thoroughly!” God built their faith up quickly. It was so great to watch it in action.
As our little ones grew, so did the waiting period between asking and receiving. God was stretching and testing. Helping them learn to believe even when his answers didn’t happen right away. They would have to wait a day, a weekend, a month. He was teaching them patient endurance, they didn’t like it much, but he knew what was best. Our youngest had a special favourite, Jingle Bear. This was the softest most beautiful bear. It had been with him from the day of his birth. A gift from Auntie Gail and her family. Jingle Bear went missing for 6 months once. It was so sad, he was so missed. Our little boy never forgot about him. The day we discovered him was full of smiles and Jingle Bear was hugged tight for weeks!
As I was reading through Genesis the other day, I recognized something new. It made me think a little more on how God interacts with his people in the area of faith. Abraham had picked up everything and moved to a new land not once, but twice.
In Genesis 11:31 it says, “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, and his daughter in law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.”
I don’t know why I had never noticed this before, or it’s significance. For whatever reason, it struck me. When God comes to Abram in Chapter 12:1 and says “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” I realized that Abram knew how to do the first part. He already knew what it was to pack up everything, leave his people and go to a new land. The first time he got to go under the leadership of his earthly father. Abram had left his home before. He had left freinds. He knew how to leave the familiar and comfortable.
God had already prepared him for part of what he was asking of him. It wouldn’t be easy, but Abram had already done it once. Just like when my kids asked in faith, God would immediately answer. They had learned to trust him. Then when they would ask, he would make them wait a while. Even though they had to wait, they would reason that, God had answered before, he would again. They had personal experience with God to base their faith on.
This time would be different for Abram, he would have to leave his fathers house. There was no guarantee he could go back. There is no mention of him going back to bury his father. It is hard to leave those we love. Some of us are more independent than others but family is important. Back then it wasn’t like you could drive a few hours and visit for a weekend. Abram couldn’t hop on a plane and be there in hours. Leaving his fathers house was different for Abram than it is for us.
Abram was faced with a big choice, but it wasn’t such a leap. He had already experienced God’s faithfulness the first time he picked up everything and moved to a new land. This time God wanted more. He wanted to teach Abram to trust day by day, and follow. Abram had a choice, to keep trusting or give up on God.
The bible makes it sound so easy, Genesis 12:4 says “So Abram left.” He headed to Cannan. This was his fathers original destination back in chapter 11. Was Terah supposed to go there? When did “go to a land I will show you” become Canaan? Did Terah get distracted, is that why he stopped in Haran? Why didn’t he make it all the way to Canaan? I don’t know yet. I have to study more. I need to do more digging. The real point is Abram left. He went where God called him.
I want to be like Abram. I want it to be as simple as the Bible makes it sound it was. I want to be so eager to follow where God leads me. I want my story to say “So she left.” I want to go where situations will test my faith, stretch it, build it, push it. I want to be where the action is, where God is. That is where life is full. That is where real adventure is. I don’t want to give up on God, to choose to stay where I am comfortable and familiar. I want faith like my children’s. They kept asking, kept believing, kept trusting. Faith isn’t a leap, God gives us reasons to believe. He asks a little more of us each time. When I look back, I see how he has been preparing me for what he asks of me next. Faith isn’t a leap, it isn’t blind. It is trusting God, one who has proven himself faithful to me before and is eager to do it again.
I pray you will take on the adventure, I pray your story says “So they left.” What comes after is just to sweet to miss.