I originally submitted this post as a guest blogger for Xochi Dixon in 2011. Since the page is no longer available on her website, I wanted to share it here. Part 2 of 2…
But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:11-12 (NIV)
In my previous post, Do You Trust Me?, I wrote about the story of Abraham and Isaac. Although I didn’t share how the story ends, many of you already know that God didn’t allow Abraham to go through with the sacrifice of Isaac. Once God realized Abraham truly trusted him and took steps of obedience, he sent an angel to stop Abraham from harming Isaac.
When Abraham was just about to follow through with God’s request, verse 11 tells us an angel of the Lord called down from heaven and shouted his name. What was Abraham’s response? He replied, “Here I am.”
I love this simple statement. Because I want to find out the rest of the story, I usually skip over this small sentence. But it’s important. When we’re in the middle of a crisis and God calls our name, how do we respond? The first response for many of us (and many people in the Bible) is to hide from God.
Think back to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. After they disobeyed, God came to the garden and asked, “Where are you?” He is God, so he obviously already knew where they were. I believe God asked the question to provide an opportunity for his children to come to him and be honest. Like Abraham, it was an opportunity for them to say, “Here I am.” Instead, Adam and Eve hid from God (see Genesis 3:10).
The difference between hiding from God and answering God depends on our relationship with him. In Abraham’s situation, he acted in obedience to God’s difficult request. He had nothing to hide, so he immediately answered God. Can you imagine his desperation at that moment? “Here I am! Tell me what to do next!”
I want to be in a place where I’m walking so closely with God in obedience that I’m desperately relying on him for the next step. But when I start putting my faith in myself instead of in God, I tend to hide from him. Why? Nothing surprises God. He knows exactly who we are and where we are. He may ask us to do hard things—just like he asked Abraham to be obedient to a difficult request.
I can only imagine the relief Abraham felt when God’s angel stepped in and stopped him from harming his son. Abraham trusted God, and God provided. God will provide. He always keeps his promises.
Today, remember that you are a child of God—the one who makes no mistakes and the one who created you in his image. He calls each of us by name. It’s our decision whether we’re going to hide or stand up and say, “Here I am, God.”
Content Copyright 2012. Allison K. Flexer @ Anointed With Grace.
Photo and Design by Allison K. Flexer.