“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’D ASK ME TO DO THAT!”
And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7
Today’s devotional is for one in a thousand. If you resonate with how Isaac might have felt, than I am thanking God for the privilege of writing this morning because not everyone has an Isaac-kind of story. Yes, everyone suffers because we live in a fallen world, but not everyone is handpicked to sacrifice in a way that is so very solitary.
To how many could Isaac relate his story and know that they would understand what he was talking about? Precious few. What God required of him and his father was steep. Being ‘chosen’ meant excruciating testing. Was there a moment, even for a split second, when Isaac said to himself, “This can’t be happening. Surely, I’m not the sacrifice!”
Have you ever had such a thought? “Surely, God hasn’t asked me to suffer such things!” The story you are living, or have lived – few know. You understand that if you told the whole story, it would cause others to stumble in their understanding of who God is.
Though you and He are at peace, and the deep wisdom gained from taking up your cross is securely tucked in your soul, it is hard to communicate these thoughts to anyone else. What you want to convey and what they hear are two different things.
If you’ve lived a crushing story ~ one that was God-shaped ~ then you know how different your life looks from others. You find it hard to relate to those who talk of having been a cheerleader, or played soccer in the backyard after school, or those who took fun family trips and the myriad of other ‘normal’ childhood kind of memories people tell each other.
God afflicts the choicest of his servants. I’ve met many of them. When hearing some of their stories, it’s hard not to point a finger at God and tell Him He’s a bad Father. But I’ve learned that this is a gross mis-judgment. They are really blessed! To the degree that they have been tested, God proportionately grants hidden blessings that are unfathomable. He opens the heavens and reveals Himself in ways that they may never find the words to speak of. This doesn’t even include the heavenly rewards that await them and the incredible impact they presently have on others while few know the secrets of their anointed spiritual power.
The severe testing of Isaac and Abraham had a glorious ending. Their deliverance and joy has been spoken of throughout the ages but none felt the depths of it more than these two! Only those who have lived it understand their story.
If you’re suffering under the hand of God, being shaped for leadership, trust God. He is a good Father.
I pray for every one who can’t tell their story because there aren’t words for it. Amen