Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Loaded Semicolon

Some of us in Champaign this summer are doing a Bible Study about Faith.  The following thoughts were provoked from our study last night of Abram/Abraham trekking with his household (servents, etc--a considerable number) across the desert to Canaan.

Genesis 12:5
"They went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came."

That is one loaded semicolon.

What transpired during that semicolon, between Abram & Company leaving for Canaan and actually arriving there?  Men, women, children, and lots of STUFF traveling on foot through hundreds of miles of deserts and where?  Well, no one knew exactly where they were headed (details, details...).  Why did God want them to go there, then?  No one knew those specifics either.  God was sort of vague about it all.  They were just going.  The lot of them must have been quite a sight, traversing the desert all together like that.  Did they endure thirst, fatigue, crankiness?  Twisted ankles, runny noses, bickering children?  Did they have a multitude of "bathroom" stops, bandage stops, fainting stops?  Just imagine the sweat, tears, blisters, and who knows what else.  We don't know what else because such details were not recorded.  In the eyes of history these details do not seem to be vitally important.  What God commanded was performed.  What needed to be done was done... and the story continued.  If I had a cookie for every time I dreaded a task (or altogether avoided a task) because I feared pain, work, or general discomfort, my belt would be several notches looser right now.  Consequently, this verse resonates with relevance to my life.

"They went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came."

Pure and simple.

Countless occurrences probably happened during that semicolon that seemed earth-shattering at the time, but in the face of history those events have been reduced to two strokes of a quill.

Looking back at my life so far, it is encouraging to see that the most difficult times of my life are decreasing in salience as time goes on.  As my own story moves forward, temporary discomforts that resulted from obedience to God fade from the front of my mind, while God continues to bless me with the positive fruits of those difficult times.

God is good.

I could name a few "loaded semicolons" in my life...How about you?  While those experiences were extremely challenging and left me at my wit's end several times, I can reverently say that I am looking forwarded to a few more semicolons in my life.  Such experiences are so often followed by some of life's most monumental moments.