Hebrews 11:11-12 (NRSV)
11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old —and Sarah herself was barren— because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
Abraham was a man of great faith who God empowered to miraculously have children. Abraham described here as "good as dead," became a source of great life. The burden of age wasn't able to stop God from blessing him with descendants as innumerable as the stars and grains at sand.
During slavery in the Caribbean and the U.S. Black infant and child mortality rates were twice that of whites. The average enslaved infant's birth weight was under 5.5 pounds. In the Caribbean, Guiana, and Brazil the slave death rate was so high and the birth rate so low native Africans had to be imported steadily.
By all measures Black people were as good as dead? Yet here we are. The historical global threat to Black life is too much to chronicle in volumes, yet, here we are. Like Abraham, I believe God has given us life despite the immediate burden of death. So like Abraham we have a testimony to God's power. Like Abraham we are a source of life and a source of hope.
Lord I thank you for all those who came before me, who survived the impossible that I might live. I thank you for blessing them with life even though they faced death at every turn. Give me the faith to resist death and embrace life. In Jesus name.
Questions for Meditation
What is dead and dormant in me that I want God to bring life to?
Have you ever had the chance to spend time in a sacred place where our ancestors sacrificed their life for us (plantation, museum, or memorial)? If so how did it feel?
What did you experience? If not do you think you should?
Now pray in your own words God would show you the great cloud of witnesses.