WHEN I’VE EMOTIONALLY CHECKED OUT!
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And he blessed Abram and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” Genesis 14:17-20
Abram had been traveling by faith for a long time now. He had entered many foreign territories and encountered king after king. They had all been unrighteous, whether by deed or in whom they worshiped. Not one had been a follower of Yahweh! Yet, out of nowhere comes the King of Salem to meet Abram after his battle for Lot and his family. Abram is weary and, most-likely, vulnerable. He has just risked the lives of himself and his men for a spiritually wayward family member.
The thought of meeting a righteous King was out of the realm of his experience. He had probably never thought there was such a thing. Say the word ‘king’ to Abram, and he’d think ‘enemy’ or ‘heathen’. Yet, here was a king who came to refresh him with a meal, encourage him with God’s very words, and give him a blessing. He was the first to bless Abram other than God! Abram had not grown cynical with his previous experience of other kings. He did not approach Melchizedek warily and refuse his affection. This, to me, is one of the miracles of this story.
When life has always been one way for 40 years, the thought that it could be different is often beyond hope. I quit praying. I stop dreaming. My faith shrivels. I simply cease believing that God will do a new thing. Technically, I may know He can because He is God. But dangerously, I believe His heart for me has switched off. He doesn’t love me enough to bless me with a different experience.
I lived this way for many decades. On the wall in our family room is a beautiful piece of calligraphy. “Behold, I am doing a new thing. Don’t you perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 Of all messages I get to communicate to others in my teaching and personal encouragement, this is at the top of the list. “Don’t give up on God! He is the One who makes something out of nothing. He is the One who turns deserts into springs! Just because it’s always been one way doesn’t mean there can’t be a miracle and a new beginning.”
I say this passionately because He did this for me. At a time when it appeared my life was over, God met me and commanded me to embrace, by faith, the promises I hadn’t made mine. Today, I can’t recognize my old life and the people who used to be in it!
Could there be such a thing as a righteous King, one sent by God to bless? Not in Abram’s vast life experiences. Yet, at this point in time, one appears. There really is such a King and one produced by God. I remember, yet again, to stay open to the expectation of God’s hand of blessing. What I’ve never had – God can easily produce. What has never been – can be – with a King who finds it easy to make something out of nothing.
I still have places where faith is difficult, and a fight, in spite of all You’ve already done. I will not lose heart. I will not faint when Your power is never is question. Amen