“So Abram went, as the Lord told him ….” Genesis 12:4a (NRSV)
One day …completely out of the blue … the Lord says 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 will be blessed.” And we read, “So Abram went, as the Lord told him ….” Later we read that Abram is seventy-five years old when he is bidden to leave his homeland. We also learn that he is married and his wife’s name is Sarai.
Where’s the drama? As life expectancy has increased over the years, seventy-five years old is not considered “old” as it once was. But we all must admit that being seventy-five years old is not like being a “spring chicken.” As we get older, it is more difficult to accept changes in our lives and often it seems that the changes come faster and faster! Abram is bidden to leave behind all that is familiar to him … his country (and supposedly his native language) … his relatives including those dearly loved (from whom he would not enjoy a greater distance between them as well as those other relatives) … and his father’s house (presumably the comforts of a stable home versus a more nomadic existence by living in tents.)
What’s more, Abram is not told the name of the place where he is to go. He is only assured that it is the land that God will show him. Other assurances Abram is given are: God will make of him a great nation, God will bless him so that he will be a blessing, and of Abram all the families of the earth will be blessed.
Where’s the drama in this story? There’s no weighing of the pros and cons of leaving his homeland for this “new” land? There seemingly is no anguishing over making such a decision. There’s no hand wringing and floor pacing. There’s no second guessing are we making the right decision here. There doesn’t appear to be any apprehension on Abram’s part about this new adventure and when and where he and Sarai will eventually settle.
And yet this may be precisely where the drama is: Abram (and Sarai) went as the Lord told him! Abram is resolute about this decision. Abram and Sarai know that their lives are in God’s hands as well as their future. The drama is: trusting God and God’s promises and stepping out in faith to follow wherever God leads.
Dear God, how we wish we could readily accept changes in our lives and make the best of them as did Abram and Sarai. Empower us to embrace changes that are for our welfare, especially when we cannot recognize them at the time. Help us to trust You completely … knowing that You hold us and our futures in the palm of Your hands and we can be in no more loving and safer hands than in Yours. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.