From the time I was a child, the story of Abraham and Isaac used to bother me. I would read and reread the story over and over again, searching for something that would make Abraham’s response understandable.
words + photographs Tammy Stearns
As an adult in my 30s and a new believer, I again couldn’t grasp the exchange that would end in a father taking his son to be sacrificed and an adult son willingly carrying the wood. In our world, it simply didn’t make sense.
I knew the cost others had paid,
and I did not feel worthy.
Until I delved deeper into Abraham’s story. There, I caught a glimpse of not just a solitary command, but rather a lifetime filled with commands, obedience and blessings. I caught a glimpse of a son who had a front seat to watch it all as his father willingly heard God’s commands and answered with acts of obedience, while God blessed him time and time again. So often that, when the command to sacrifice his own son was given, Abraham knew his Father’s Voice and His Ways so intimately there wasn’t any hesitation in knowing what He was calling them to do wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but rather another experience with the One they knew well, even when it didn’t make worldly sense.
At the moment of my baptism, I knew this decision was something so much greater than myself. I knew this would be a life of obedience and a life of living differently from the world. While some have proclaimed a feeling of being renewed, I felt the reality of the walk I had chosen. I knew what God had asked Abraham, Noah and countless others. I knew the lives of the disciples and the martyrs. I knew the cost others had paid, and I did not feel worthy.
What I didn’t know, at that time, was the cost of the journey was paid by Him. What I didn’t realize was each step and each experience would be saturated in His provisions. What I didn’t realize was He would give me exactly what I needed when I needed it.
I just had to learn to trust Him.
As with those before me, it started off small. A soft voice whispering, “Would you do this for Me?” and I would willingly obey. Followed by another prompting, “Would you do this for Me?” and again I would willingly obey. Step by step. It started so very slowly, from asking me to attend church every Sunday to being involved in the choir to making small changes in my life. After each change, I realized my life was fuller on the other side. In each of these moments, I was learning He could be trusted. I was learning He always wanted good for me and had a plan for my life.
I just had
to trust Him.
I would like to say every time I heard that Voice I have instantly obeyed. Many times, God and I have had conversations, as I would try to make sense out of it in my own mind. Like Peter when he was walking on water, each of these times were moments when I had taken my eyes off Him. Each of those times when I would finally come around, His plan was absolutely perfect and His provisions have always been more than enough.
Over time, possibly to those on the outside, some of my actions could be interpreted as not making worldly sense. To some, they may appear outright crazy and foolish. However, to me, they are no different than the very first command I was given. I am simply following my God wherever He leads. By doing this, I have found He will never lead me to a place that is wrong. I know He knows my past, present and future. I know He controls all the variables in this world and above all, I can trust Him. TS