The end of chapter 11 says that Abram’s father, Terah, left their home in Ur of the Chaldeans and set out for Canaan, but when they reached Haran, they settled there. After Terah died, Abram was called by God to set out again for Canaan.
It makes me wonder: Was Terah called to Canaan but gave up when he reached Haran because that looked “good enough”?
How many times does God call us to something, only to have us give up halfway there? What blessings do we forfeit because we fail to follow through? Setting out on foot with all your family and belongings to trek from Iraq to Israel is a daunting effort, but what challenges has God called us to overcome that we decide are just too hard? Or do we get halfway, notice a nice little village and decide this is far enough?
That’s lesson enough for me to ponder all day, but Abram gives us a second one in this chapter.
Instead of staying in Canaan, where God called him, and trusting that God could provide, even in a famine, he continues his trek all the way to Egypt. Even worse, not trusting the Lord to protect him in this foreign land, he asks his wife to lie, and allows her to be taken and sexually assaulted by Pharaoh who says he took her as his wife.
Failing to trust God and acting out of fear are the basis for many sins. Consider the temptations that plague us regularly. How often are they the result of fear? God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Paul counseled the Philippians, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
What calling from God are we not pursuing out of fear?
What calling have we set out on, but stopped halfway, thinking, “This is good enough”?
What calling have we run from when the going got tough, rather than pressing in on God’s promises and trusting Him to do more than we can ask or imagine?
It’s not too late to get back on the road that God called us to. It’s not too late to turn back to the calling we ran from. It’s never too late to start trusting God completely.