“The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.’” (Genesis 22:15)
We just finished carpeting our upstairs. Two bedrooms and a hallway. It was so much work!!! But the end result was totally worth it. The crazy part of the story is that God has been preparing us for this for a couple of years. In 2013 we resigned the church we were pastoring. It was a painful end to a place we loved dearly. The next two years were hard. We lived in my parent’s basement while my husband sought rest and refreshing after a crazy pastorate. Our lives were on hold while we waited for God to provide for us. Provide direction, healing and resources. Both of us held various jobs to provide for us and our 2 kids during that time. One of those odd jobs happened to be installing carpet. It was hard work but was something that paid well for Nathan at the time. It lasted about 6 months and life went on. Thankful to not be working so hard he started another job.
Fast forward to January 2016, we are now first time homeowners. We knew that we needed to re-carpet some places in the house, but just starting out at a new ministry position we couldn’t afford to splurge on new carpet. We committed our desire to God and trusted in his timing like so many times before. As God would have it a person who bought a newly built house in town didn’t like the color of her brand new carpet and wanted to get rid of 1000 sq. feet of gray carpet. We paid pennies to be able to re-carpet our entire house with brand new carpet. In God’s perfect plan, my husband knew everything to do because of the time he spent working hard in transition.
What does all this have to do with Abraham and blessings? Sometimes blessings cost you. In order for us to be able to have new carpet installed and afford it, my husband had to work through that time or he wouldn’t have had the experience needed. In order for Abraham to be blessed it tells us in the above passage … “because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you.” Abraham was willing to give God his Son, not to receive a blessing, but out of obedience.
So many times it’s easy to pray for God to bless us, but just like putting in the work to lay carpet, you have to be willing to put in the work. Work through the transition, through the pain, operate out of obedience even when it doesn’t make human sense. The process can be painful and you may feel like you missed God completely. Just remember, God took Joseph through many jobs and places, even prison before he got the blessing he had been promised.
Don’t fear, God has a plan and what you are working through right now just may be preparing you for your future blessing.
Lord, help us to be faithful right where we are. All of our experiences and trials, the things we have to work through shape us and prepare us for what you want us to be. Grant us patience and steadfastness I pray. Amen!