Sunday, February 26, 2012
Sunday Afternoon Tea
This past week I have spent a great deal of time on the sofa, pondering life. All of it. Including eternity. It's a good thing I don't have time often to ponder eternity for my finite mind soon developed a headache which only two Migraine Strength Excedrin could conquer.
I thought about Abraham as I'd been pondering his journey last week. When God called him out of Ur towards "a city", he had no idea he would not locate that city in his lifetime. He kept going on his journey... never perfectly and sometimes sinfully... but he didn't give up.
Was God playing some heavenly game with Abraham? God knew the city He was leading him toward would not be found on this planet. Was God just leading Abraham along with amusement because He was bored?
Of course not!
The city was his destination but as we learn about Abraham... we come to realize the journey with God... toward the city... was what molded and shaped him into the man of faith he became.
We are amazed at his amount of faith when he offers Isaac back to God (knowing God would raise him from the dead if necessary, or so the Word tells us). This is a far different man from the person we met on his way out of Ur.
What was the difference? He had walked with God through all the hills and dales and deserts and oasis and rabbit trails and Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah and lying and cheating and doing things his way and then believing.
I am absolutely certain there were times Abraham had a little chat with God which went something like... "You called me out of the comfort of Ur for THIS?". I know because I've had that same conversation with Him... only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
In some ways, He has caused my boundaries to be in pleasant places. He has not asked of me that I suffer completely. For instance, I love my small-ish house at the edge of a forest which He provided... a miraculous mortgage offer... and a house I loved that we could afford.
But other things in my life, the little and not-so-little foxes which nip at my ankles... some will be with me a lifetime. The challenges and the difficult relationships and the fears to be conquered.
The grief over those gone and the missing and of those here but far away. The desires of the heart not received... yet. My life not what I expected at all when I was younger.
But through the years I've learned Abraham's secret, how he went from Liar to Legend. How God could promise him a family as big as the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach? Abraham learned God's secret.
What we see is not all there is.
The City truly does exist. Some answers are on the other side. Someday we will walk in that City whose asphalt is made of gold. Illness will all be gone and with it poverty and loneliness and exhaustion and war and weeds and things that go bump in the night.
The journey is just getting started on this side. What did C. S. Lewis call this life at the end of The Last Battle? The Cover and the Title Page of the story? When we begin to see life from an eternal perspective, the journey begins to make a little more sense.
What we become... who we are when we are presented to our Father... that all comes from the journey. He is our destination.
Picture: The Word of the Lord Endures