Hebrews 11:8-10 (NRSV)
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
I love that the writer at Hebrews starts Abraham's faith journey with his journey. Abraham obeyed God's command to leave the land of his father and journey to a land of promise. His journey was not easy and he faced many trials and struggles but he looked forward to a promise he would not see himself. He was the forerunner for a promised land that only generations after him would realize.
Isabel Wilkerson's classic "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," comes to mind at times like this. She chronicles the movement of millions of African Americans fleeing white terrorism in the south looking for peace and opportunity in the west, midwest, and northeast between 1915-1970. Although they faced many challenges in the north as well, they too were seeking a better life, a better promise that only generations after them would realize.
Where would we be in our faith if Abraham did not obey God? For the millions of us now rooted in the north, where would we be if our ancestors had not obeyed God?
There are times in our lives where God wants us to make significant changes that not only affect us but generations to come. The title of Wilkerson's book comes from a poem by Richard Wright which is appropriate to end this meditation.
“I was leaving the South to fling myself into the unknown...
I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps, to bloom."
Lord help me to hear your voice when you are instructing me to make major changes in my life. Give me the courage and the faith to obey. Help me to look forward to the city whose architect and builder is you. In Jesus Name!
Questions for Meditation
Where do I trace my people from?
How did I get where I am today?
What is the most courageous change I have ever made in my life for God?
How can I make things better for generations to come?
Now give God thanks for your ancestors.