The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1 – NLT
When Abram/Abraham was 75 years old, God called him to leave all that was familiar and go. God didn’t give him directions; He basically said, “Follow me, I’ll show you where to go, and I’ll let you know when you get there.” Trust me, and walk with me.
Because Abraham loved and trusted God, he left the familiar, his family, his home, his job, everything! He left because God was more important than anything.
This is my Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ralph. On December 23, 1965, they left their families of origin and promised to walk with God through good times or bad, sickness or health, riches or poverty until death parted them. They walked with God as they started their own family and weathered the storms of life. They are continuing to walk with God as everything familiar fades into the rear view mirror and they become strangers.
You see, Uncle Ralph has Alzheimer’s, and Aunt Rachel is losing him a little bit each day. The familiar is gone. The unknown lies ahead.
No one said that following God would be easy, but no one expected the path to lead through Alzheimer’s. Because Aunt Rachel loves Uncle Ralph, and God, she walks where God leads.
People say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle!” Unfortunately, that isn’t true. God won’t allow temptations to overwhelm us, but he does allow difficulties that do.
The truth is that God does allow more heartache and hardship than we can bear. If he didn’t, we wouldn’t need to trust Him and we would assume that we could take care of everything the evil one throws at us. We would spend our days trudging through life trying to endure in our own strength.
Even the Apostle Paul was overwhelmed by difficulty…
“We do not want you to be uninformed …about the troubles we experienced… We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.”
But, Paul doesn’t stop there…
“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead.” – 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT
It is not easy to follow God. It wasn’t easy for Abraham – his failures are recorded in the Bible! It’s not easy for Aunt Rachel. And it won’t be easy for you.
However, if God is calling you away from the familiar, you can be sure He is with you. He is all-powerful and he wants you to rely on Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And, you can rest assured that nothing is too difficult for God!
What is God calling you to leave behind as you begin a new year? What is He calling you toward? Do you love and trust him enough to follow Him wherever he leads, even if the path leads away from the familiar and into the unknown?