Today, the day before I turn 48, sitting in the Motor Vehicles Administration, I realized it’s been over four long years since I moved to Southern Oregon. A serendipitous calling brought me here and a painful incident a couple of years later had me yearning to go back home, to Maryland. And yet I’m still here. It’s like I’m meant to brew in discomfort until I can read the tea leaves of my future.
Is this a minuscule of what Abraham experienced that day when God paid him a visit? It was 25 years after Abraham left Ur and about 14 years after the Ishmael fiasco when God and his entourage of angels finally made a house call to fulfill promises made so long ago.
After all, what’s my 4 years compared to Abraham’s 25! Uh, upon further pondering, that doesn’t bring me much comfort– I’d say 25 years of wandering and waiting out of a life of 175 years is about the same as my 4 out of however long I’m expected to live. So, I’m back to square one, back to searching for meaning in God’s denial of my want.
As I waited in line, I replayed Abraham’s life again, and I found myself with Abraham that hot and dusty day, when the heavenly visitors arrived. I see Abraham’s wrinkled face, weathered by the desert. I see his eyes clouded with age, cataracts maybe. I see his back slightly stooped from toil. I can even hear his thoughts, second-guessing the cooky way he left his family and his home behind. But then I see him quickly reach into his stash of hope and I watch his doubt slowly turn into belief again, belief that God will keep His promise. And just as quickly I realize what I must do.
I need to have a consistent supply of hope. Like Abraham, I need be right where I am. Not just be, but be ready. Like Abraham, I need to be so ready that when God comes calling, I will know who He is. I bet that day when Abraham was almost 100 and God told him the time of fulfilled promises was right now, all the years of waiting felt like a moment. And if Abraham had been moping around somewhere that day, instead of waiting on his front porch, he might have missed the visit altogether!
So maybe I’ll return to my Ur, maybe I won’t. But from Abraham I know, that wherever I end up , it’ll be the Ur I need. So I shall wait and watch, and I will, for sure, marvel in God’s care.