Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Genesis 12:6 ESV
Many have prayed for the will of God, followed His voice, and experienced complete disillusionment when they found themselves in hostile surroundings. They blame God for being unloving or they blame themselves for being poor listeners. Experiencing angst within the will of God is common and should not surprise God’s children.
When Abram encountered the Canaanites, hostile company epitomized, he didn’t pick up and move on. He settled there. Though he was the only Yahweh worshipper, He built an altar. With far less revelation of God than I have, he was strong enough in his faith to be faithful.
Some years back, our family lived in a hostile environment. We begged, daily, for release. We were willing to move anywhere and do anything to escape our surroundings. Surely, we reasoned, God wouldn’t want us to endure such a place. Yet, every request for a move away was met by the silence of God. One morning in prayer, the Spirit of God spoke to me through a verse in Psalms. “Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3 We were to learn how to make our little home a place where the glory of God rested. We were to understand how to eat the sumptuous spiritual meal God provided daily amid our enemies. We stayed three more years before God moved us out and that time proved to be one of the most formational times, spiritually, in our family’s history.
Many live in hostility. Unfortunately, it can be with a husband, wife, child, or aging parent. It can even be in a place of ministry. Scorn and ridicule are the backdrops of daily life. Instinct says to escape. Do anything to run from such discomfort. But God’s way is for His child to learn how to make Him their home. The glory of Christ can descend on the darkest environment.
Give your child today spiritual grit, a willingness to stay in a tormenting place, and peace in submission. Amen