Thursday, January 5, 2012

the faith of Abram

I haven't written much lately. Haven't had much to say and sometimes struggle to even put words to the heaviness of heart. Oh, that heaviness, it isn't there all of the time, but it crouches in the backdrop, like lion in the bush, there like predator to prey, waiting to pounce upon me. Some days, I have the strength to dart and run...a fast determination to flee from all that attempts to rob my joy. Other times, I can hardly move, but sit and watch in slow motion as this beast comes and sits relentlessly upon my heart.

Through my prayer journal this morning, I began to pour my heart out to the Lord. Not even 8:30am and the tears are flowing. I took on the challenge of reading through the Bible in a year. I'm on Day 5! Today's reading was about the LORD's covenant with Abram. The LORD said to Abram (Genesis 15:5) "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" I've read this passage so many times, but felt relieved that God can speak something new and relevant just when you need it most. He's been working in small ways like this lately. Giving me enough of a taste to know He is here, that He is listening, and that He cares. Nothing major and profound, just enough to carry me through. The next verse is the one that began to tug at my heartstrings. Genesis 15:6 says that, "Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith." That's where I want to be. A believer...not just of mind, because that's what His word tells us, but a believer of heart...that through the struggles that this life brings, even when situations seem to bring no relief and months turn into years and I'm growing weary, that I will have the faith of Abram...in our God, in His abilities, in His power, in His plan and in His purpose.

Following God's lead for our family was not as difficult as one may seem, although it may have appeared absurd to many at the time. I've said before, Noah obeying God and building an ark probably seemed crazy to others. Following God's lead may seem irrational to some, for us it was fairly simple. Our real challenge lies in fighting discouragement and trying to understand where He has led us as we sit in our ark and the torrential rains keep pouring down. Trusting. Believing. The true heart knowledge. Some days I burst with joy and hope and find it easy to claim the future blessings He has in store for us. The rainbow sits on the horizon in plain view. I look at my kids and look around me and feel fullness of heart, that I have more than enough. Other days, I wonder why life has to be so hard, why it is such a struggle to have our basic needs met? Why life seems to come so easily for others, full of luxuries and conveniences, yet there seems to be no relief for us? I tell you this is dangerous territory to tread upon.

Later in my Bible reading this morning, Abram asks the LORD how he can be sure of the LORD's blessing of the possession of land He has promised. Verses 9-11, "The LORD told him, 'Bring me a 3 year old heifer, a 3 year old female goat, a 3 year old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.' So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not however, cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away."

This last verse struck me as odd. I thought to myself, "Why is this included in the Bible? Who really cares that vultures swooped down to eat some dead animals? Is this relevant?" I am no Bible scholar at all, in fact the farthest thing from it, but I stopped at this verse and a few things came to mind...

Like a vulture, the Enemy tries to steal our offerings to the LORD- our praises. The struggles of this life attempt to destroy and run away with our hearts - and all that is rightfully the LORD's. Envy, jealousy, anger, depression- all thieves, vultures swooping in for the kill. I want the LORD to look at my heart and to count me as righteous because of my faith. Some days, it seems so wavering. I want to be like Abram- strong in faith and able to chase the vultures of life away, refusing to allow anything to steal what is His. Father God, give me the faith of Abram that I may believe and be blessed. LORD, increase it today. Help me to fight to chase away all that attempts to steal and run away with my joy, my strength, and my praises to You. You are and should be more than enough. Provider, Sustainer, Grace-giver, Lover, Father, Protector, Friend, Redeemer, Restorer, Creator...You are.

Even with weakened heart, I'm believing,

2 comments:

  1. Very insightful. I love it when God reveals something to you through scripture that you didn't quite see before. Little nuggets of gold. I was reading this post this morning, and it really spoke to me: http://modsquadblog.com/2012/01/teaching-them-to-see-god-as-their-one-thing/. It just talks about how we need to make God our "one thing" instead of waiting to be happy. He is our reward. Bless you girl!

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