He was called and set apart by God. He was a “Founding Father of Faith.” He had many promises given to him by God. Yet, he faced challenges. Surprised? Well, we shouldn’t be. I appreciated the sermon on Sunday in our island church. Pastor David spoke about Abraham, that although he was called by God and given a number of great promises, he also encountered an assortment of challenges on the way to the fulfillment of those promises.
I have a bad habit of having a “green grass” mentality – of thinking the grass is greener there or over there – or anywhere where I am not right now. As I spent some time in prayer after the service, God reminded me that I will face challenges no matter where I am – here in Uganda, at home in Oregon, or anywhere He might call me. But, those challenges are not unexpected blips on the navigational screen or unforeseen detours on God’s roadmap – they too are part of His overall plan, just like the call and the promises.
Rather than resent or fear the challenges, why not embrace them and see them as opportunities for growth? This is easier said than done, I know, but the God who knows those challenges also knows you and me. He will give us the grace we need for the journey.
I have also been meditating some on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
“For my power is made perfect in weakness…” Hmmm…does that mean God is truly glorified in me when my weaknesses are not denied or “camouflaged,” but are accepted and shared transparently with Him and others? Yes, I believe this is so. I don’t, however, think we should wallow in our weaknesses, saying “Woe is me.” But, I truly must acknowledge that I cannot attempt anything in my own “strength.”
God knows what I am, that I am “but dust.” He is not surprised when I falter, stumble, or trip flat on my face. Rather He is like a loving father watching and helping his child learn to walk. He doesn’t scoff or belittle the child when he falls, but helps him back up, placing His hand under his arms until the child slowly by slowly becomes sure footed.
I am a foolish child if I don’t rely on God’s strength, grace and the power He provides through His Spirit. He delights to display His strength in and through you and me.
God’s power and strength were given a broad platform in the life of Abraham – both in the call and the promises, but also in the challenges and the weaknesses. Does God have a platform in your life for displaying His strength?