The Bible contains some of the greatest stories ever told. Even non-Christians know these stories and have been impressed by the drama and characters. It’s easy to think of the people in the stories as heroic, larger than life -- even super-human. Their stories can become fairytales without recognizing how human each person in the Bible actually was.
We are told that the great prophet Elijah was a man just like us (James 5:17), but do we really believe that? Wasn’t there just something special about him that allowed him to do all the great and astonishing things he did? Something that we don’t have?
It was springtime and the women from our church in Connecticut were heading out to our annual retreat by the sea. The speaker, a dear friend of mine, wanted to teach the women how to listen to God’s voice by waiting before Him in silence. This would be new territory for many of the women, including me. Oh sure, I had heard the voice of God before, but it usually came as an interjection in the midst of my incessant self-talk. External silence was easy enough. Internal silence? Nearly impossible.
When my children were young, and I was more than a little bit overwhelmed with being their mom, people used to say to me, “Enjoy it! It will be over before you know it.” On my worst days, the thought in the back of my head was, “Yeah? It can’t be over soon enough!” Of course I didn’t mean that, but in those early stages of motherhood I was often so exhausted and full of self-doubt that I had trouble accessing “enjoyment” in the moment. I got better at it and eventually found being a mom one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.
God’s plan seemed clear and simple: if Abraham left everyone and everything he knew and went where God directed, then He would bless him with a “nation” of descendants (Gen. 12:1-2 NIV). Without much delay, Abraham quickly went “as the Lord told him” (v. 4). Perhaps too quickly. For with just as little consideration,“…Lot went with him” (v. 4).