In Genesis, God promised Abram that he would be the father of a great nation. "The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you' " (Genesis 12:1). Many of us do not like to travel anywhere unless we know where we are going. Some of us want to know how long we will be, what we will need, and how we will get there and who will be with us.
Throughout history, God simply doesn't work that way. God has ALWAYS said, "Follow me and I'll show you the way." Jesus continued to work from the same paradigm as he calls a hodgepodge of people to "Follow me. . ." (Matthew 4:19). He went on to say, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20).
However, God promises us that when we do follow, we will be blessed and protected. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:2-3).
Take a few moments and reflect upon your life. Can you truly believe that you are where you are, with who you are with, part of the family you have, doing what you are doing? When we set out in life, we may think we know where we are going but do we really know? When I embarked upon the call into ordained ministry, I never thought I would end up at a Erskine Seminary creating life-long friendships. I never thought I would meet my wife in seminary only to have it end in divorce seven years later. I wasn't keen on having children and never thought I was capable of loving someone as much as love Seth. For he is truly the greatest blessing of my life. I never thought I would be sitting in the Civic Center in Roanoke VA during the VAUMC Annual Conference writing this blog:) Oh yeah, wearing a yellow bike jersey, spandex shorts and white crocs! Hum, more on that later but you can check it out at http://www.holyrollers.us/.
As you reflect upon your life, what does it look like? Has it been smooth sailing or full of dangerous rapids? My guess is both! So Seth and I took to the rapids. At first we paddled in the calm waters getting a feel of the new kayak. He would practice rolling out of the kayak, swimming to shore, emptying the water out and hopping back in to do it all over again.
After about an hour of play, he began to look further upstream at some rapids. He felt the call to a bigger and more dangerous path. He didn't want his "trick" kayak to paddle in the flat, calm waters. He wanted the "trick" kayak to descend waterfalls and shoot the big rapids. He wanted a new adventure, not the complacent status quo. I asked if he wanted to try the rapids and he said, "No, they look scary." But he would slowly work his way up stream contemplating the rapids. About thirty minutes later he said, "Daddy, I'm ready. Let's do it."
"So Abram left, as the Lord had told him" (Genesis 12:4).
So up the rapids we went. Seth wasn't strong enough to carry his kayak while wading upstream. So kayak in one hand while Seth held my other hand, we worked our way through the slippery rocks above the rapids. I had a friend help him into the kayak and hold him until I waded downstream to take pictures and prepare for any problems.
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him (Genesis 12:6-7).
So trust your Heavenly Father with your life. Trust Him as you paddle the rapids and He will lead you into the waters of eternal blessings!