It was a three day journey to the mountain. The purpose was not to view the land and enjoy the scenery but to sacrifice his only son-THE SON OF PROMISE! He wasn't even given proper directions just this basic instruction “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you". Gen 22:2. God even rubbed insult on an open wound by emphasising the exact person he wanted Abraham to sacrifice in case there was any doubt in his mind. Imagine the audacity! If I was Abraham, any of these scenarios would have played out. 1. I would feign Ignorance; pretend I did not hear God. 2. Refuse to His face that the request was impossible, count me out of your outlandish demand. 3. I'll go up the mountain, wailing, crying, dragging my feet and making sure everyone knew what I was up to. 4. Enlist prayer warriors to help change the mind of God. But Abraham didn't open his mouth to protest except to give instructions to the servants that followed him. He didn't waste time but left home very early in the morning to implement God's command. Abraham did not leave room for distractions or excuses. Those three days journey must have been the longest and the most arduous in Abraham's life yet it turned out to be the most fulfilling yet. Every step lifted in pain was substituted with Faith on that mountain trek. Every step and passing day an assurance that GOD IS FAITHFUL. I wonder why God didn't chose a mountain that was closer to home so Abraham could get the work done and over with. At least that would save Abraham the pain of looking into Isaac's eyes throughout the journey. However, it had to be three days so that the work of perfection might be complete in Abraham because THERE IS NO RUSHING GOD. "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" James 1:3-4.You can't rush the process.
At the end of the journey, on that mountain top Abraham touched the heart of God with his obedience, his blinding Faith in God without a shadow of a doubt. "Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" Heb 11:19. On that mountain, he received the fulfilment of the promise and IT WAS WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF FAITH exercised on the journey.
That phrase was used by a friend during a discussion and it got me to write this post. The phrase is simple yet profound. You see, unlike Abraham, I have screamed, complained cried even cursed up the mountain. I even threw a couple of pity slumber parties for effects but THERE IS NO RUSHING GOD. I'd allowed myself to wallow in my *situation* and lost sight of the purpose of the journey in the first place. As far as I was concerned, God set me up! Over time, I have realised it’s not the drama, tantrums and crying that releases the promise but COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD. Of course He understands our pain and is touched by our tears as scripture rightly says " For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin" Hebrew 4:15 but God wants us to trust him in the midst of the challenge with our pain. It’s like a mother reaching out to her child who's crying because of hunger. The child automatically knows that with mum in the picture then food is only a few seconds away. Crying and throwing tantrum would not bring the food any sooner or make it cook faster. How much more with God! “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Mathew 7:11. . But God will not hurry the process so why not enjoy the journey and trust He that has promised.
Every challenge and hurts are building blocks in our relationship with God. It depends on how you view the situation. Initially, I couldn't fathom "the whys" but its starting to make sense now. Abraham kept his eyes on the goal and not on his circumstance and received an incredible testimony. Our focus should not be on our situation but on God no matter how difficult it might be. Challenges are glory moments for God and that my friend is WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF FAITH.
Picture courtesy Fr Peter Tremblay's blog