Abraham (the patriarch formerly known as Abram) set out from his homeland of Ur in obedience to God’s leading. The problem: there was no set destination. I can imagine the conversation–a rather brief one. Abraham to God: “So you want me to pack up the family and all of our things and leave?” Yes. “But you’re not going to tell us where we’re going?” No. “Okay, just wanted to make sure I understood ALL the details. Thanks Yahweh.” End scene.How terrifying! To leave everything familiar in the name of obedience, only to have no idea where you’re going. But that was the journey God had in store for Abraham and Sarah–and it was a foretaste of how God would lead His people in coming centuries as well. For it didn’t stop with Abraham.
Consider the Exodus. The people of Israel are in captivity for 400 years. They are rescued by Moses, which I can only imagine as being accurately depicted by DreamWork’s The Prince of Egypt. But the people set out for the promised land. This time there’s a destination. Here’s the conversation. Israel to God: “How about a time-frame? Something. Anything. Any idea of when we’ll arrive?” No. “Okay, thanks Yahweh. Grumble grumble grumble.” There was something more important regarding the journey than the actual destination it would seem.
Lastly, think about all the saints since Jesus declared he would one day return. “How long O Lord?” However long I want. “Okay, glad we got that straightened out.” So how then do we live in the gap? The gap between God’s declaration to move in obedience and the actual culmination of reaching a destination?
We journey along with the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before. We sing with the great chorus of saints who praise God the Father, Son and Spirit from the heavens. We steadfastly and faithfully take one step forward at a time, not knowing exactly where we are going but trusting wholeheartedly the One who has called us to move. And so, we wait while moving forward. As best I can tell this is the Christian life, to patiently await the Lord’s leading while walking where He’s already led. But be of good courage, for many have gone before and are walking with you even now.
Peace be with you.