In this Pandemic, many of us are fearing for the safety and future of our children. The answer is the same as the answer Abraham found when he left his home and risked the life of his son. We must have faith The LORD Will Provide. (Genesis 22:14).
We often focus on how much Abraham was willing to sacrifice to obey God. He left his homeland (Genesis 12:1-4). He offered to sacrifice his son. (Genesis 22:1-18).
Fortunately, God desires mercy not sacrifice (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 12:7).
Focusing on what Abraham was willing to sacrifice is like focusing on the ways a cup is half empty. Focusing on how Abraham was willing to trust God is like focusing on the ways a cup is half full.
So I prefer to ponder how much Abraham was willing to trust God rather than how much Abraham was willing to sacrifice for God. He was even willing to trust God with the safety and future of his child.
In this Pandemic, many of us are fearing for the safety and future of our children.
You may worry about getting food for your child
You may worry about being kicked out of your apartment.
Your child may need safe daycare while you are gone to work at an essential job where you risk getting sick, or even dying.
Your child may be falling behind in their schooling.
As a parent and grandparent, I know how hard this is.
I remember my fears (over 30 years ago) the first time that our first child, Sarah, slept alone in her nursery.
For the first six months of her life, Sarah slept by our bed in a “porta-crib”. My wife and I could hear every breath she made.
If we were afraid Sarah stopped breathing, all we had to do was touch her rib cage lightly to reassure ourselves she was still breathing.
Eventually, Sarah grew too much to stay in the porta-crib. We put her in her crib in her nursery—about 40 feet down the hallway.
The doors were open. The night lights were on. Nevertheless, we slept very little.
We each made several trips down the hallway to check on Sarah. Was she breathing? Was she covered up?
We knew we were being rather silly. Sarah was only a short distance away. But she looked so tiny, lost among her blankets and her stuffed animals.
My wife and I worried that this was only the beginning of all the times we would worry about Sarah as she grew up.
If we were overwhelmed with worry when she moved 40 feet away to her nursery, how would we ever cope with our fears when she went to kindergarten, left for college, and got married.
Our daughter is now thirty-something. She moved 2,000 miles away. Her son, our only grandchild, is in kindergarten (attending on line).
For all these years, and for all the years to come, the answer to our fears and worries is the same answer Abraham found when he left his home and risked the life of his son.
We must have faith The LORD Will Provide.
We must trust God to keep his promise to work in all things for the good of all who love him. (Romans 8:28).
We must believe God’s promise that he plans to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
God made such promises to Abraham after he passed a test of his faith.
The LORD said, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky . . . [so that] all nations will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:15-18).
God will keep his promise to give you a hope and a future even if you do not have a literal child or a literal descendant.
Your “descendants” may be children you teach, people you are kind to, people you deliver groceries to, and people you care for in an Emergency Room.
Each of us has different “descendants.” Different fruit of our lives. Different work that our hands establish. Different ways that we light the world.
Whoever and whatever our “descendants” may be, we can trust God to keep his promises.
And God promises to make such “descendants” as numerous as the stars of the sky so that everyone will be blessed, because we have obeyed God.
I urge anyone with bouts of worries or depression to seek professional help, including appropriate medications. This is especially important in this stressful, discouraging time. Similarly, you may need to encourage your family and friends to seek professional help.
This blog is based on the section “Faith Enables Abraham To Be Willing To Sacrifice Isaac” in my book The Promised Land, at pages 36-39.
For another example of Abraham overcoming darkness, please read my blog “Getting Out of Your ‘Tent’”.