We are beginning another series this week: Climbing with Abraham (by David Ramos). What do you know about Abraham? Spend a couple minutes and think about or write down everything you can think of. Guy in the book of Genesis who was called by God? Went through a name change? Had a wife? Was promised a son? Went to Egypt and lied? Took his son up on a mountain to sacrifice him to God? Maybe you haven't heard much of anything about Abraham. Maybe you grew up in Sunday school classes and know quite about him. But in these devotionals, Ramos helps us focus on Abraham and offers insights into how Abraham's life and relationship with God can help us find insight into our lives and our relationship with God. Through Abraham we can answer questions we face, such as: what am I doing wrong, does God even hear me, why is this happening to me? Through Abraham we are reminded that the God of Genesis (and the God of today) is a huge God, a creator God, and a caring God.
Week 1: Read Genesis 11:27-32.
"Torah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Why does this matter? Over and over again, the Bible begins a person's story by telling where they came from, who their parents were, and what land they originally inhabited. This is all to show that our story begins long before we do. Before God called Abram, God was planning his story. God knew the nations would be blessed through this one man. God knew Abraham would be a very important marker in the long, beautiful story of human salvation. But God also knew that, as important as Abraham's story was, he was still only a part of something much larger.
As you prepare to dive into the life of Abraham and discover the amazing truths hidden in his trials and triumphs, remember this one truth: there was a "before Abraham" and an "after Abraham", and the same is true for you. Countless stories have taken place to allow you to live at this precise moment in time. Countless more will be written after you are gone. Your story is part of something infinitely larger.
This is both freeing and frustrating. On one hand, we don't have to feel the pressure to be perfect. Abraham certainly wasn't. But at the same time, when trials arise, it feels like we're just a small piece of the puzzle and God could not care less about our little problems, right? Not true. We are God's children, God's chosen. To God, you are every ounce as important as Abraham, and God will take care of you with the same amount of care and love and power as He did for Abraham over 4,000 years ago."
Takeaway to today's lesson: Your story is part of a much bigger story.
Spend a few minutes thinking about your story. Who were your parents, your grandparents? What brought you to live where you have lived, had a particular career? Who introduced you to God and to the church? Now think about how your story is part of something greater. Who have you influenced through your life and who are you influencing today? That question may be easier for those who are reading this who have had children and harder for those who have not, but the truth is we all have influence on people around us to some degree.
Ramos says that being part of God's larger story is both freeing and frustrating. What do you think he means by that? Do you feel this tension in your life? How do you feel free? How do you feel frustrated?
Prayer: God, thank you for choosing to include me in your plans for this world and your kingdom. Bless me with humility and patience as I learn to discover and fulfill the call you have on my life. Help me not to feel overwhelmed or frustrated, but to find freedom through you. Through the life of Abraham, help me accept that those whom you call, you enable and empower. Amen.