A Really Tough Test

28 Jan

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son,
of whom it was said,
Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.  (Heb 11:17-18)

Abraham’s story is worth telling.  He was a loyal and faithful Jew yet he and his wife were childless.  In their old age, they felt as if God had passed them by.  Alone, frightened, and discouraged, they were, nonetheless, willing to accept their fate.  After all, they were God’s servants.  If he wanted to leave them childless, so be it.

At a very advanced age, Abraham was told by strangers that he and his wife would have a son within the year.  Imagine the joy, followed by the confusion, followed by a certain amount of fear.  After all, if they were so old, their only child would soon be without parents to instruct him in the ways of the faith.  That was when they received a promised that they would live for a long time and that their progeny would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

It all seemed to be going the way of the prophecy when, a year later, they had their child.  Yet, when their child was a young teen, Abraham was instructed to take his son up a mountain.  There, at the top of the mountain, he was told to sacrifice his son.

I never have been able to imagine what it must have been like for Abraham to hear the command to sacrifice his only son.  Yet, being faithful to God, he readied himself to comply.  An angel had to stay his hand as he was plunging the knife down toward his son.

Many people are tested by God in one way, shape, or form.  We may not be asked to sacrifice a son or a daughter.  However, we may end up with an intractable illness, we may lose someone very dear to us, we may find ourselves out of jobs and livelihood, or a myriad number of other problems.

In those times, we need to cling to God and rely upon His aid.  Sometimes, people end up rejecting God, stating that if there were truly a God, they would not be in their present situation.

Tests come and go.  The manner in which we face them reflect the kind of faith we have.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all those who are being tested and who are having problems accepted what God is asking of them that they have the grace to abandon themselves completely to the Lord.