To start, this might sound a little crazy. Hopefully though, you will stick with me and eventually I think it will make sense (albeit probably just a little bit).
The past weeks/months I have been on an Abraham and Isaac type journey. The trek up the hill with what you love most in this world to make the ultimate sacrifice. Its one of those Bible stories where you go, “Really God? Really?”
You see God made a promise to Abraham. He promised him a nation to be born out of his very own descendants, but there he stood (way old) and still without a child. Then the child finally came! Isaac. That very same child, years later, God would ask Abraham to give as a sacrifice. Say what???
Really when you put it in the context of the entire Bible it does seem out place…to sacrifice a child? Its not like God to ask for such a thing. But Abraham, without understanding it or liking it, trekked up the hill to give up the very blessing that came straight from the hand of God. It wasn’t until Abraham got to the top of his faith walk that God provided him a different sacrifice. One that would save the life of his son Isaac, all the while ever intensifying Abraham’s own trust and faith in God. God will always provide.
There are a billion special and amazing ways to look at that story. But for me, for right now, for today…I’ve seen a smaller (much more trite) version of this story unfold in our own lives.
My husband and I have been married now for 11 years, of those 11 years we have been in a perpetual cycle of major change. From moving to job changes to having three children, to then carrying Gideon, to losing Gideon (and sitting in deep grief for quite some time) to then having our 5th child Samuel we were…just…about…to…take…a deep…breath? Please? For a little while?
Then in the way that life goes an opportunity arose. One that would uproot it all, uproot us all one more time and take us into another major change. A major one.
And so God asked…”I am asking you to be willing to sacrifice all the blessings of your ‘here’ that you love. Do you trust me?”
At first I didn’t. And I got a little temper tantrumy. But then steadily and surely I packed up (In my brain) all the things I loved and started the trek up the hill to sacrifice them.
Our family close.
Our friends close.
Being close to Gideon’s gravesite.
I finally came to the place where, with a sincere heart “God I will give it all up for you. If you ask me to.”
On my ‘walk up there’ I sincerely expected that I was going to actually need to make that sacrifice. As I am sure Abraham did to. Fully expecting God to somehow raise from the dead all my dreams I had just killed. As I am sure Abraham did to. There I stood instead, watching a different sacrifice being offered.
My husband’s dream.
For him, for my husband, I would give it all up for his dream to be fulfilled. For every waking of his moments to be doing something he loved. It would have been hard, but it would have been okay and I thought that’s exactly where we were headed. But Dave saw it different.
Dave didn’t know about God’s ask of him. This time (and just this time), I didn’t offer up an argument or an “Um, are you out of your ever loving mind?” I just prayed and waited and gave him full jurisdiction over this choice. Full jurisdiction (hard for a northern Italian woman let me tell you). And for us, for his family, the peace of his decision lied in sacrificing what he wanted most.
So many of these days of life things…they are bitter sweet. I am so sad for my husband, that all the things he layed awake at night imagining won’t happen now. That barring a miracle (which I’m still praying for by the way) he will have fully killed dead this possibility. But my soul (my whole being actually) has sighed a deep sigh of relief. I didn’t even realize how tired these bones were of change, and hard, and more change.
Today I am just so thankful and as I leave and breath I look over and this is how my baby boy sleeping…
Those praise hands! At just the right moments that baby has those “thank you Jesus!” baby hands held up.
As I prayed about what to write today I couldn’t help but think that one of you too feels like a sacrifice is being asked of you. One that you are none too excited to give up. What I can promise you is…the beauty is in the faith walk up the hill. The “this is painful but I am choosing to trust” step by step journey, its outcome is worth it.
“I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.” Psalm 54:6