Leaving the known for the unknown…


Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will 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.”

At this point in time, Abram (whose name would change to “Abraham” later) did not know God – this is their introduction. God makes an interesting proposition. First, there is the challenge: leave “your country and your kindred and your father’s house”. In ancient times one’s extended family were essentially one’s protection and safety net. There was no police force to speak of, so staying close to family was critical to survival. This would have especially been the case for a wealthy man like Abram, as there were always people wanting to rob the wealthy. Also note that God doesn’t tell Abram exactly where he will go, only saying, “to the land that I will show you”. Pretty vague don’t you think?

But then there is the reward in v.2-3. To a wealthy man who was childless at an advanced age, having no heir to leave one’s wealth would have been considered tragic – much more so than might be the case today. So the possibility of having an heir late in life would have been enormously attractive.

In order to realize blessing in the future, Abram would have to leave the security of the now.

I resonate with the idea of leaving the known for the unknown, though unlike Abram it has not been a choice. Covid is realigning all kinds of things: work, home, school, neighborhood, and so on. I would never have chosen to make all these dimensions of change all at the same time, but I didn’t get a vote. Nor did you. But here we are.

So this morning I’m wondering what blessing the Lord has in store for me in the midst of this massive upheaval. What opportunities is the Lord giving me to bless other people? How can I grow from this experience? How can the church I lead bear witness to the love Jesus has for all people? How would you answer these questions?

Lord open our eyes and ears to discern where you are leading. And help us to see the blessing in the midst of the struggle. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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