Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trusting is Hard!

How have I gone so long without writing a post? I think it's because I'm a little stuck at Abraham. Abraham is referred to as "friend of God" in the scripture (James 2:23). I've had a lot of friends in my life. People who I have loved and been loved by. But...did I trust them all the way? I feel like there was still an insecure moment every now and again. The whole trust thing...it's hard for me.

Trust is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. 

In a previous post  ("Do I Know You") I mentioned how there is always something hidden; there's always something I don't know. And so assurance is hard to come by without a leap of faith. 

When you take a leap of faith, you recognize that this is a long shot. There is a moment of hesitation. There is this closing-your-eyes-and-going for it feeling to it, which makes it "risky" in a sense. We know that God promised Abraham many descendants through Isaac. Sarah gave birth to him, miraculously in her old age. All for God to say: 
“Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. - Genesis 22:2-3

I read this, and I think: where was the hesitation? Where was the "why God?" moment? Where was the begging and pleading? At least sleep in Abraham! Why isn't he freaking out? He got up early...to kill his promise!
People who don't hesitate have one of two mindsets (I think):
  1. I have nothing to lose
  2. What will be, will be
Am I to believe Isaac was this buff at 13?
But for me, in my life, I always feel like there is something at stake! I can always either have A or B. Not both. Not ever. And it's because I don't think eternally. Abraham is an eternal thinker, so he has the assurance that he will 1) lose nothing that God has promised him, and 2) that what God said would be, WOULD be no matter what. 

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead... - Hebrews 11:17-19

At the time of Abraham, no on had EVER been raised from the dead. So how did Abraham set his mind to think the resurrection of his son--killed by his hand and burned on that mountain--was possible?!

Because God promised him.

And Abraham trusted God. He relied on what he knew about the character, ability, strength, and truth of God. He was solid on it, and it's shocking to me. A resurrection is the foundation of Christian belief...today. But for Abraham it was impossible; but he knew that his promise wouldn't die on that mountain. And it amazes me. It amazes me because I'm quick to give up on the most basic of promises: 
"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. - John 14:14

I can get discouraged. I can stop asking for the things that I want/stop praying altogether because it doesn't look possible anymore. But that's because I'm 1) not thinking eternally and 2) I'm not trusting in God's character, ability, strength, and truth. 

But Abraham had to get to this point. He had to get to this place. At one point, he thought his promise was shaky enough that he took a concubine in order to have a son. Then, once he actually had the son...he was willing to KILL him, believing that the promise was still intact?! How did he come to this level of faith? 

...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. - Romans 5:3-5

It's a process. We can all get there. Romans 5 is written on the heels of Paul speaking to the righteousness that Abraham found through faith. So Abraham obtained his "ride-or-die" attitude the same way I will obtain mine. Now I just wonder: who will I amaze with my faith?