Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is it Too Much?

This morning the pastor asked what Abraham must have felt as a father when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac--the son he had waited 25 years for, his cherished, beloved son, the fulfillment of God's promise to him...I can't speak for Abraham, but my first thought was, "It's too much." Sometimes I think that about Dave's health too--it's too much, all that he has to go through, the loss of dreams and ability...

And then he asked how God the Father felt, when He gave up His beloved son for us. Was it too much? He didn't think so. And I was reminded again that the things we give up that are so painful at the time can be part of our worship of God, can be given up willingly rather than begrudgingly. We can be the victim, viewing everything as taken from us--or we can be the giver, saying, "Here are our lives. We are yours, God. Do with us as you will." Maybe we don't get to give the gift we wanted to give, but we are not denied the opportunity to share in the suffering of Christ if our lives are a living sacrifice, are an act of worship to One who is worthy of more than we could ever give. (See Romans 12:1-3).

And even in sacrifice, there is a great gift to us. God told Abraham, "Now I know that you fear God..." The word for know is not mere knowledge, but intimate, personal, relational knowing. He invites us in our sacrifice to know Him more, and in our testing, our relationship with Him is deepened...if we are willing.

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