Wealthy, a heart for God, a strategic location—what a rare combination! Material prosperity gave him influence. Caravans passing by his trade route dwelling offered the potential to spread his message far and wide. His heart for God made him usable. What an ideal situation for serving God!
“Go out to a place that I will show you. This way—head to the wilderness.” Wait! How could this be? Surely his present setting was the place to be to serve God. Who is out in the wilderness to reach with the truth? Some rocks, a few sheep?!
When I transitioned from a full-time Christian ministry to ordinary employment, I felt empty. What I was doing seemed to have very little to do with spreading the Gospel, discipling multitudes or impacting the world—things with overt, eternal impact.
My life was quite ordinary. Yes, I did the tasks before me with my whole heart but the fulfillment wasn’t the same as before when I knew I was impacting lives in ways that counted. In my secular employment, I knew I was where God wanted me to be but what I was doing didn’t match my expectation of what I thought God would want me to be doing.
I wonder if Abraham ever felt the same way as he watched the years pass by—not from the city, with him impacting the world for righteousness—but rather with him sojourning in the wilderness, running a husbandry operation.
What was the fundamental thing about Abraham that pleased God? Was it what he accomplished for God? No. It was his trust in God. “…Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23).
Do I let my expectation of how I think God should use me to steal my joy because God is up to something else?
Abraham’s years of wilderness wonderings weren’t wasted years nor were they second-class years spent “sitting on the bench.” Abraham was exactly where God wanted him to be. Where that was, what that looked like—Abraham chose to rest those decisions in God’s great faithfulness.
Will I do the same? Will you?
Copyright © 2012 Ben Gribaudo – Used by Permission