I have had the rich experience of studying the life of Abraham as we have dug through Genesis in Bible Study Fellowship this year. This week we read Genesis 25 and with the turn of a page of our Bibles, Abraham’s long life is over. Abraham’s 175 years yielded what many of us desire our much shorter lifespans will achieve. Although he was far from perfect and even made the same mistake twice (imagine that), he left an unmistakable legacy of faith in God for his family.
In fact, Isaiah 41:8 calls Abraham “God’s friend”. What was the secret to having that kind of status with the Almighty Creator? Was it the fact that he waited for over 100 years for the birth of his promised son and heir to the promised land? Or perhaps it was that once his promised son was given to him, he took him up the mountain to sacrifice him? Maybe the secret lies in his final mission to secure a Godly wife for his cherished son so that his lineage of faith would continue after his death? Yes, I believe all these major events in Abraham’s life led to his status as a friend of God. But even more than these acts were what was at the heart of them-expectant faith and willing obedience.
January 11th marked one year since completing my chemotherapy treatments. As we get further and further away from those dreadful days, the greater my struggle is to have that expectant faith and willing obedience that I see in Abraham. When my tomorrow was questionable and I needed every ounce of physical and emotional strength to be gifted to me, He had all my attention. I experienced amazing blessing as I intently looked to Him for each next step and saw Him so clearly answer and meet every need. So how does this kind of expectant faith and willing obedience that was present in my time of struggle become my life as it was Abraham’s?
I think the answer lies in something I heard our teaching leader say in one of her many fascinating lectures on the life of Abraham. “You have to trust what you know and expect God to take care of the rest. ” God’s faithfulness to me in my trial is what I know, and therefore, I must trust it. Then I approach everyday with great expectation of how He is going to reveal Himself and provide for me. I know the reward to be close communion and intimacy with Him and there is really is nothing greater than that.