Are We There Yet?
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of a long trip by automobile with young children, you remember the oft-repeated refrain: Are we there yet? How much longer? When are we going to be there? Are we almost there?
It’s a good thing Abram didn’t have any children when God called him to set out on a journey: “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to a land I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1). It’s interesting to consider what’s missing in this instruction—no destination or directions are given!
If you look closely at the calling God gave Abram, while it’s void of step-by-step and turn-by-turn directions, it’s absolutely full of promises! What God did say: “to a land I will show you” (emphasis added).
Read on. “I will make you into a great nation; I will bless you; I will make your name great; I will bless those who bless you; I will curse those who curse you” (Genesis 12:2-3, emphasis added). God’s call is framed by promises of the role He will play—what He will do.
Abram’s journey unfolds over the next several chapters of Genesis. It was anything but smooth sailing. The story is replete with obstacles and hurdles—some self-inflicted as Abram tried to “help” God bring His promises to pass.
There were many opportunities for discouragement along the way. The land God was leading them to—it was inhabited by Canaanites. The place they found to settle—a famine set in and forced them down to Egypt. Because of Sarai’s beauty, Abram worried Pharaoh would kill him, so he said she was not his wife, but rather his sister—and then Pharaoh married her! Are we there yet? How much longer?
It was quite a journey between the initial call to Abram and when he became Abraham—the father of the faithful.
Remember all those ‘I wills’? At every juncture, at every impasse—even on those occasions when Abram foolishly acted on his own—God was at work. He promised “I will” … and He did!
The writer of Hebrews tells us, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
Abraham’s journey, messy as it sometimes was, is summed up as an example of faith. There were occasions of discouragement, doubt, uncertainty, even folly—all the while God was at work behind the scenes. Abraham stepped out in faith and stumbled along after God. Faith is like that. But we can be assured the destination is in God’s capable hands.
My prayer this week—Father, it is my desire to follow after you in faith, on those days when it’s easy and especially on those days when it’s hard. Would you remind me often that it is you who calls, you who wills, and you who will complete the good work you’ve begun in me?