We are a couple weeks into our devotional series based on the book Climbing with Abraham by David Ramos. Last week we learned that Abraham's travels might have appeared, to outsiders, like random wanderings when in reality Abraham was responding to God's call on his life. The same is true with us. God has a perspective and a plan for each of us: the question is how we will respond. We were challenged to take Abraham's view and choose to remember that God is at work within us, that we matter to God, and that we are not just wandering.
Week 3: Read Genesis 12:10-20
"After Abraham received the promise, one of the first stories we read is of his failure to trust in God. A famine fell upon the land and Abraham was forced to travel to Egypt. Out of fear for what the Pharaoh might do, Abraham concocted a half-lie saying that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. He did this to protect his own life and even benefited from his lie. But everything quickly imploded....
God communicates two incredibly powerful truths in this short story. First, all of God's chosen will make mistakes. I will, you will, Abraham certainly did. If the Bible repeats any message, it's that people will fail. You will, at some point, do something stupid or act out of fear - and the beautiful thing is - it's okay. It can be okay because of the second truth God communicates through this tale: God's promises will not fail.
Despite Abraham's lack of faith, God didn't just write him off. God stepped in, intervened, and got Abraham back onto the path he was supposed to be on. What's crazy is that this isn't even the last time Abraham pulls this trick. Eight chapters later we'll see Abraham make the exact same mistake!
The purpose of this story, and I believe the whole of Abraham's life as well, is to give us hope. Hope and confidence that God's patience is more powerful than our stumbles, and God's love is as strong as we are fragile. It's because of us that we often find our faces in the dirt. It's because of God that we can dust ourselves off, stand back up, and carry on even stronger than we were before."
Takeaway from today's lesson: God knows I will make mistakes, but God's promises are invincible.
Have you been beating yourself up over mistakes you have made, times when you have failed yourself or others? It's human nature - we all do. We tend to replay them over and over again in our minds. But when we do this, we are really telling God is that our faith isn't strong enough; that I don't really believe that God's promises of forgiveness, love, and grace are for me. Instead of internalizing a message of failure, try internalizing a message of forgiveness. Instead of focusing on the past, look forward to the future God has planned for you. It's still a matter of perspective!
Prayer: God, thank you for being patient with me. Help me to avoid making mistakes and failing you. But when I fail, help me remember that you always forgive and welcome me back to you. Give me the confidence to live as someone who knows firsthand your love and grace. No matter what happens in my life, I know you will not give up on me. Amen.