"Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2
I was thinking about Abraham and Isaac greatly last night as I was falling asleep. I was actually thinking about them through much of the day yesterday. Every single time I read this I am just amazed with Abraham, that he just does what the Lord asks. Someday, we will know exactly what Abraham was thinking when he took his only son to be sacrificed, but until that day, we can only speculate. But what we can know, is that he did it- without arguing or complaining. What is even more interesting about that, is just a few chapters ago, Abraham was arguing with God over the people of Sodom. (Read Genesis 18 if you're interested in that story.) So we know that Abraham has that kind of a relationship with God. If he was going to question God about sacrificing Isaac, he would have done so. Instead, he just DID it. He took his son on a journey, and got as far as lifting the knife to take his life before an angel interrupted him.
God was requiring obedience from Abraham. He was after a "Yes, Lord, it will be as you say" and He certainly got it from Abraham. Abraham obeyed, and in return, he received an amazing blessing from God.
"Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:15-18
Sometimes, I think that's all that God really wants from us. When we go through trials and tribulations, we're learning to put our faith and trust in Him who will get us through. When He asks us to do something, we're like little children, He wants us to say yes obediently and follow through on the task.
I have been one of those naughty children who says no for a while. That child who stomps their feet and says "I really don't wanna" and walks away. And, I was like that for about two years, I want to say. Every time the suggestion or question would come up about me being willing to play the drums at church, I dug my feet in and said I wasn't gonna. I said I wasn't a drummer, and insisted that there were others better able than myself. (Which, that part is totally true.) But as I've shared here, several weeks ago, that all changed, and the more I do it, the better it's getting. In fact, this coming week we have a conference at church, and the person who would normally play the drums for conferences isn't available, and I had a decision to make. Really, I sort of resigned myself. Yes, there was a good chance that I'd be playing the drums for the whole conference. But once I said that I could do it, I started working at being able to. I've practiced a few times, I've been working out to build up my stamina and leg strength, and as time went on, I did learn that one of the other drummers would be able to help me out. I was thrilled about that, and while I patiently waited for a schedule for the week, I continued preparing myself.
I was totally unlike Abraham, I totally recognize that, because I argued with God over this silly little thing for about two years. It took awhile before I finally said yes and okay. Playing the drums is also a very little thing compared to the idea of sacrificing a child- I totally get that, and I'm not really comparing the two. The whole point is that sometimes God just wants to hear us say yes to Him. And I think it's because if we will say yes to the little things, than we're opening the door for something bigger to come along. I really felt like I was finally doing what God wanted me to do- I was preparing myself to play the drums this coming weekend, and I was working very hard at trying to rearrange my schedule so that I could do so as well. But the whole amusing part, for me, is that now that the week is here, now that the moment is here, I don't need to play at all. God totally cracked me up last night when I heard that. All this fuss and stress on my part, and all I needed to do was be willing in the first place.
So now of course, I'm still looking forward to the weekend. I am prepared if I need to jump on for a bit- I'll be okay with that, but it also has me wondering. What is in store for me? Is there something coming that God is going to ask me to do. You know, there could be, and this whole experience for me was a major learning experience, because I really didn't think I could even DO what was being asked of me in the first place. I surprised myself by finding out that I could. Which brings me to another point. God doesn't ask more of us than we are able to do. Oh, sometimes there will be sacrifice on our part, but God never asks us to do something that we absolutely cannot do. That's something that I've learned through this. And while I won't be sitting on edge, on pins and needles waiting to find out what the next thing is, I also have learned that maybe I won't be so quick to just say no the next time. Instead, I will prayerfully consider what is being asked, and if it feels right, will go for it.
I'm certainly not saying that I'm perfect and will simply say yes the next time. I would like to think that I would, but only time will tell. In the meantime, I will keep moving forward and I will also continue to better myself in the areas that God has challenged me in.