[NOTE: Our Mondays-only meditation schedule returns next week.]
God said, “Take your son, your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him up as an entirely burned offering there on one of the mountains that I will show you.”… On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place at a distance. – Genesis 22:2, 4
The story of Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of Isaac (which must have emotionally scarred the kid for life, by the way) doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Bible. God demanding such an abhorrent thing? Doesn’t jibe with Jesus’ proclamation of God being the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15).
But let this ancient story stand on its own for a moment. Here’s the breakdown of what’s happening:
1. Abraham is challenged to obey God, regardless.
2. The test lasts for three days, the time needed for the journey.
3. God comes through in the end.
Maybe obeying God is comparatively easy when we’re asked to forgive someone. But when we confront an addiction that risks emotional and physical challenges? Or take an unpopular stance that’s the right thing to do, but risks rejection and abuse? Or face a situation totally out of our control? Or…?
You have to really wrestle when obeying a hard call carries a hefty price tag. The wrestling lasts a while, like three days. Three days for you to hope something happens that will take the bitter cup away. But also three days for you to reflect, talk it over, pray. For you to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, like call on unusual resources and while growing more vulnerable in the process.
Three hard-as-iron days define our character. They turn faith into a verb: moving ahead, trusting that in the end, God is trustworthy, regardless.
Maybe it’s helpful to remember that it took three days before Resurrection happened.
I wonder…Right now we join with 7.8 billion people on earth, dealing with a common disease: Could this be our three days together as a global human family?