Abraham was old when he had his only child. The child, he was fully aware, was a gift of the Almighty and Abe knew he had to live as if the child was loaned to him. He was grateful to even have the opportunity to be able to raise a child. Sarah and Abe had everything they needed, but always longed for a child. After all, a child is the only way you can leave a part of you behind. God told him that he will be the father of many nations, but it was a shame that he couldn’t even have a child of his own.
A while back, he hosted some visitors who assured him that when they visit him next year, his wife will bear him a child. Rightly so, a year later the cries of a newborn baby boy were heard. Issac, they called him, and Abe was filled with overwhelming gratitude when he saw what the Lord had done for him. Abraham and Sarah raised him to love and fear God, to keep His word and His commandments close.
One day God asked Abe for a sacrifice, but an unexpected one. God asked him to sacrifice Issac, his only son, on Mount Moriah. Abraham did not hesitate, he did not hold back. He knew that the Lord his God had only his best interests in mind. He cherished all the time he spent with his son and looked at him tenderly as he started off to the top of the mountain. Issac – a bright, curious and loving young lad, was greatly confused about the sacrifice because they did not carry any animal for it. Issac quizzed his father about it, and all he said was, “The Lord will provide”. Only the Lord knew how torn Abraham was about sacrificing his only son.
When they got to the top, they started to prepare for the sacrifice. Imagine Abraham’s pain, as he gazed lovingly upon his son, ready to do as the Lord’s wills. Even in those final trying moments, Abe quietly wished for a miracle but was not moved by his love for his son. He knew his love for Yahweh was greater. He knew that the Lord his God will provide. He wasn’t hoping for a miracle, he was convinced of one. Rightly so, the angel of God intervened and stopped Abraham. And behold, there was a ram stuck in the bush. A sacrifice that was ready – a lamb that was provided.
Now imagine Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Tensed, troubled and restless, wondering how He is going to get through the passion that awaits Him. But yet, in love He knows that the Father is looking out for Him irrespective of how bleak the situation might look. In love He cried out to the Father, seeking strength and solace. Oh, to have the courage to say, “Thy Will Be Done”. The love it takes to be able to know that the person you are saying this to only has your best interests in mind. Jesus was the lamb ready for sacrifice that night – a lamb that followed no matter how hard the path seemed, a lamb that was sacrificed for our salvation; a symbol of love.
To love someone is to know them through the patient eyes of kindness, the tender heart of goodness and a purposeful mind of sacrifice. God knows us through and through. Jesus, the human form of God, knows us and loves us even at our worst. It becomes important to remind ourselves of how Jesus thought of you and me when He hung from the cross for our sins. Love takes sacrifice. Oh, the love it takes to follow a person no hard how hard the way seems. Oh, the love it takes to love the Saviour, knowing that He loved you despite your sins. Oh, the love!
We live in a very selfish world. One that is constantly receiving, dwelling and sending out messages of “me, myself and I”. It takes willingness to love someone besides yourself; a conscious and calculated decision. It takes the greatest sacrifice to love God and to trust Him enough to allow His will to work in your life. It takes great love to say, “Thy will be done”. Love then makes you courageous, calls you to stand out and be bold. Courage then allows you to trust the other person, trust that they have your best interests in mind. That they are acting from a place of love for you. Trust then allows us to make sacrifices, to go the distance, to be ready to do another’s will, to place their interests before yours.
It takes a decision to love; love leads to courage. Courage allows us to trust. Trust makes all the difference!