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Monday, April 1, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry

Hebrews 11:17, “By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son.”

This passage brings up so many mixed memories that I realize it is not a once for all decision to relinquish that which we hold as treasure, but may need to be repeated many times. We can so easily confuse a promise with an end result done our way and miss the blessing, or healing.

Once I refused to leave a highly stressful job situation, because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God had called me there, and in my mind to leave would be breaking a commitment. Despite the fact that everyone praying for me all agreed that a change needed to be made and the increasing despair I faced every day.  Then a wise person quietly mentioned that although God had called him to a particular role, He had also guided him when it was time to leave for another location. I clung for the wrong reasons. And when I finally opened my hands to new possibilities, a whole new season opened up, still using the same skills yet in a fresher and deeper manner.

On the other hand when one child was born in distress, I had no hesitation handing his care over to an unknown pediatrician. I trusted immediately that this complete stranger would do whatever necessary to bring relief to my newborn. Contrary to my anxiety-ridden personality, I had complete peace. Because God stepped in and covered both of us in His care. I too was a newborn in faith then, and neither my child nor I were ready to be tested, only protected.

Often I still need to double check just how tight-fisted I am with the people around me, or time, or resources. I resist change and I like safety. Yesterday, on Resurrection Sunday, our pastor referred to the reality of  “Christ is Risen” as dangerous hope. It’s going to take awhile to process that concept into daily life and yet I wonder if that is exactly why Abraham was able to meet God’s test of faith.

Lord, please forgive us when we hold too tightly to anyone, or to any dreams You have given us, with self-centered clenched fists instead of open hands of trust. Help us to recognize Your voice and follow Your plans with dangerous hope.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 56:11-13

“In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Thy vows are binding upon me, O God;
I will render thank offers to Thee.
For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God in the light of the living.”

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