In Genesis 12:1-4 we read, “Now the Lord said to Abram, go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So, Abram went as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” So begins the story of the great patriarchs of Israel. God told Abram to go, and Abram went.
You will notice there were no real directions given other than go. There was no destination given other than Abram was going to the place God would show him. There was no indication how long this journey would be. There was no road map to follow. Just go. Or, walk in faith. Or perhaps, trust me. Abram was a pagan who lived in Ur of the Chaldeans originally. He might have been a tribal chieftain, a man of great wealth and influence. But God said go and it was compelling enough that Abram was willing to leave everything familiar behind, and trust. And he was seventy-five years old when this adventure began.
We are living Abram’s journey right now. All of us, regardless of age, position, status or ability have been asked to trust the Lord on a journey that is full of unknowns. We can remember what things used to look like. We know what we have left behind but we have no idea what lies ahead. Nor do we know how long this journey will take. It is a safe bet that when the pandemic is over, whatever was normal before won't be normal then. We are really walking with God into an unknown future. We have not moved anywhere but still we are on a journey. Life as we know it has changed and not by our choice.
Really the journey we are on is a journey of faith. And that is a lifelong journey. Even if we are still living in the house where we grew up, we are still on a journey of faith and trust. For Abram and Sari, the journey was a physical one. They were moving to a different land and country. We are moving in a country that is changing. But for all of us, this journey is about putting ourselves and our loved ones in the hands of Sovereign God, the same God who created absolutely everything. He knows what lies ahead because He is the Lord over all. And He will not lead us into disaster. I would guess Abram and Sariwere anxious, maybe a bit afraid. Perhaps even a bit excited or curious.
Maybe we know all these feelings too.
As I look at church and where we were before the pandemic, I see new potential for doing ministry different. God gave Abram a new purpose and a promise. Perhaps we have a new purpose as well. Not that the old will go away but now we have been given a chance to try something new that just might reach more people for Christ and strengthen others for their journeys. Stay tuned! Here is something else to think about. I believe God has been trying to get the attention of His people for some time now. And we have been so busy with our lives we have either not heard Him or have chosen to get to Him later. And when I say we I mean everybody. The pandemic has taken away some of our busyness. It has caused us to slow down. We have had a chance to clean out some things and redo others. It is like a fresh start. That is what God gave Abram and Sari.
A fresh start and a promise. Our promise has been around for a very long time. God promised the Israelites He would always be with them. Jesus told us He would be with us always even to the close of the age. We do not know when this current journey will end or where. But remember, God has been in the moving business for a very long time. He moved Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. He moved Abram and Sari from Ur via Haran. He moved Joseph to Egypt and the Israelites through the wilderness. He moved the Israelites to exile in Babylon and the prophets to many parts of the promised land. God moved Paul thousands of miles to preach the Good News. The rest of the apostles were well traveled too. And all these people went, not knowing what they would find, or where they would end up. We are part of a very long line of believers who find themselves in unknown territory. And while our world is vastly different than Abrams, we are trusting the same God and Savior as he did. We are following the same Sovereign God as Joseph and Moses,Elijah and Jeremiah.
God will use each of us just as He did the thousands of faithful folks who have gone before us. He was trustworthy then. He is to be trusted now...even if we do not know where we are going or what it will look like when we get there.
In His grip
Pastor Matt W