It was a quiet day in Haran as Sarah set about her daily chores. How many years now had she and Abram been wed? Too many to think about for it only called up the pain at the very core of her being, the pain of being childless.
And it wasn’t his fault. She knew that; and the thought never failed to evoke a tumult of emotions. She would remind herself to be thankful that he’d not divorced her for someone who could bear him a son.
The afternoon shadows were lengthening as Abram returned home. Something was different. She could see it – and sense it – right away. He pulled her to him, as he usually did, but his embrace was a bit longer, a bit stronger.
“What is it, my lord?” she asked, searching his face, which was grave yet exuded a restrained excitement.
“Come, sit,” he gestured toward the crude bench. “The Almighty spoke to me, Sarai.
We must leave Haran.”
“Leave Haran?” her shock was visible. “But why? Where will we go?”
“I don’t know,” Abram confessed matter-of-factly. “He will lead us, Sarai. He told me so. “
“Husband, please. Start at the beginning and tell me what happened.”
Abram closed his eyes for a few moments, the picture of absolute serenity. He smiled slightly, eyes still closed, as Sarai watched, head tilted to one side, a frown creasing her brow.
“The Almighty spoke to me, Sarai,” he began, turning to face his beloved wife. “We must leave our native land and my father’s house and go to a place that He will show us. He’s promised to bless us, to bring forth a great nation from us. He said He will bless those who bless us and curse those who don’t. He even said that one day all the nations of the earth will be blessed by our descendants.” He paused and searched her face for a reaction.
Now I ask you, today’s 21st century woman, put yourself in Sarai’s position. Your husband returns from work one afternoon and announces with no preamble that the two of you will be departing from your native city, state, country to travel towards your new home. But there’s only one problem. He has no idea where that is!
Your parents live nearby; your sisters and brothers along with their families are well established in their communities. All of your family is proud that you are the wife of a very wealthy and highly respected man in your city.
You’re close to your family. And suddenly you think, what about my friends? What will they think? And, what will I do without them? What if I never see them again??
Forget your smartphone, your IPad, Facebook and Instagram. Take yourself back nearly five thousand years ago. How would you have reacted?
Fast forward to the present. God is never limited by what “usually” happens. He is, after all, Creator of all things new. What if, when you least expect it, you were faced with a major life change? And – to make it even more difficult (let’s admit it, ladies) – it wasn’t you who heard from God, it was your husband.
And let’s not forget that she was 65 years old at the time.
If he searched your face for a reaction, like we proposed that Abram may well have done with Sarai, would you have the faith in God, and the faith in your spouse’s ability to hear clearly from God, to embark on an entirely new venture?
Without details, without a map, without knowing anything about the place where you were headed? Goodness, you don’t even know where you’re headed!
We are taught to emulate the biblical heroes but too often we fail to put ourselves in their shoes and seriously examine our own faith, trust and willingness to obey whatever God may ask of us.
Sarai’s willing assent to follow Abram into the unknown, long before her own heartache would dissipate with the birth of Isaac, calls to us across the centuries.
Do we have that priceless faith that embraces a life of utter abandonment to the unexpected, confident that He who leads us knows exactly where He is taking us and that we can trust Him unreservedly?
I look forward to your comments!