God is Real!
Genesis 12:1-9New International Version(NIV)
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”[b]
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
On paper, I am a board certified general surgeon and ordained Baptist minister. On paper, I am a graduate of some the nation’s most prestigious institutions. On paper, I am an Eagle Scout, published author, humanitarian and business owner. On paper I am married to a beautiful Bible scholar who can preach her butt off. On paper I am the father to two amazing children. These are just some of things that a publicist could put on paper about me that would be true.
Yet in the flesh, I am a 5’9”, 169lb dark skinned Black man with a rather large nose and thinning hair. In the flesh, I have several aching joints. In the flesh, I have lots of bills to pay with no rich uncle or safety net to back me up. In the flesh, at least 5 people depend on me to bring home a paycheck. In the flesh, I have to contend with the fact that although I’m a good surgeon, I still have a lot of surgical skills to master. In the flesh, I, too, contend with the fact that I am not the best preacher in my own home. In the flesh, there are several days where I am barely keeping it together.
In the flesh, last week, I went to bed one evening, physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted and frustrated. I had spent yet another day trying to manage a situation that carried significant uncertainty for me and my family. After a year that included significant parental health issues, job loss and career instability, marital growing pains, and geographic isolation, I simply laid in bed wondering, “God, what is the point of all this uncertainty and instability?”
I woke the next morning and my devotional talked about God calling Abram. It let me know that God heard me. In the midst of anxious and confused fugue, God reassured me that He was still in control. The author highlighted the inherent uncertainty in God calling Abram to leave his family and homeland. The devotional reminded me that even when God gives minimal instruction, God still has a clear plan for our lives. As I read the words, I reflected on just how real and near God is to us.
I don’t know what issues of uncertainty and stress you may be dealing with in your life. What I do know is that God does have a plan for you and that God is very real and near to you right now. God is not bothered by our questions or confusion. None of our adversaries are bigger than God. None of our flaws can change the character of God. Take heart and know that God produces progress right in the midst of struggle.