Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Genesis 22, Abraham's test

I am doing some devotionals for a Bible Study and I was assigned Genesis 22.

Honestly, this is one of the stories in the Bible I most dread. I used to be okay with it until I had children. But now the idea that God asks us to sacrifice our children (even if it is only symbolically) well, to say the least, this idea keeps me up at night.

When Abraham and Isaac came off of that mountain, they knew in a way that they did not before, that their God was a serious God. One that did not promise comfort but instead offered lives of significance.

Before motherhood I'd have given up a lot, probably because you could have wiped out all of my earthly belongings and I'd be out, oh, about twenty-five bucks.

But now I have children and I dream and plan for them. I want my son to grow up, leave home, marry and have children. I want my daughter to do the same. All I want is their happiness and comfort, but God is asking for more. My dreams for my children may or may not be in his cards, and if I give them to God, he might lead them into a desert. He might take them places I'd never allow them to go. They might have friends I'd not allow them to have. If they truly grasp God's plan and live in his Kingdom, they will do things that will scare the--to coin a phrase I heard often growing up--living daylights out of me.

He wants warrior sons and daughters, he wants children that live their lives in a Kingdom where they do not fear death. In a way, God's mind works in a way we might even consider adolescent. He functions in another realm, one where perfection exists. One where we will feel the thrill of the adventure without the heartache of loss. A realm where all is as it should be and we need not fear. He invites us into that realm, but in this world we enter into it imperfectly. More precisely, he invites us to live as though we are in His realm in a world that is not fully within it. So it takes faith to enter, and even more faith to keep the door open for my children. It is an invitation to a dance, not a call to a safe house.

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