Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day.
Imagine that you're listening for God in your life. You have sojourned into a foreign land; you believe you have heard God promise great descendents to you; you and your spouse have had a child in very old age. Then, God tells you to take this child, the one from whom descendents could come, and sacrifice it.
And you go. You build an altar. But at the very last minute, God gives another sacrifice for you. The child is spared. The promise is real. The sacred dream is true after all.
This story of Abraham is surely a story about his faith in God. He and Sarah believed in God's promise so completely that they became willing to make an absurd sacrifice. Yet the story is really not about them. The story is about God's faithfulness. No matter what, God will come through and God will provide.
Will God always provide the perfect solution when life is difficult? Will a better job miraculously appear when things are hard at the office? Will finances improve over night? Will broken relationships mend? No. Responding to God and relying upon God is not a magic pill that makes all of life grand.
But if we look to God's faithfulness to us, if we trust in God's life among us, will our lives change? Yes indeed. For if faithfulness is the theme of God's story among us, if God is there for us no matter what happens, then the glorious and sacred dream is true after all.
So make your life an altar to God. Not to get what you want, not to spare something sacred, but to experience the faithfulness of God each day. I cannot imagine a better life.
God, help me make an altar out of my life that I might experience your faithfulness in all things. Amen.
Copyright © 2006 Michael Sullivan.