All who wander.

(The second in a series of posts from Genesis 12 and John 3)

Some things Abram did while waiting on God are helpful to us as examples.

Abram wandered a lot while waiting for God to tell him where to stop.

packingHe was looking for food for his animals. So Abram did the work of a shepherd, the work he knew, while he was waiting for the where of God.

Sometimes we wait for God to tell us what to do. And while we wait, we don’t see what we are doing as God’s work. But Abraham did what he knew how to do while he waited. And it was how God took care of him.

Abram built altars wherever he went.

Abram would get to a place, pile up stones into an altar, and pray. The pile of stones was a way to mark the prayer, the contact with God. And he was probably hoping that each altar was the last.

This altar building meant that he was saying to God, “here’s a place that I will meet you, will you meet me here?” He was saying to God, “I know we can interact everywhere, but in this place, I WILL interact.” He was saying to God, “this is my way of reminding myself to talk to you.”

And then he’d move again, to take care of his sheep.

Wherever we are, we can worship.

Abraham made mistakes while he was wandering, but the wandering wasn’t a mistake.

In Egypt, for example, he lied about Sarai being his sister, because he was afraid the pharaoh would kill him and steal her.

But God protected Abram even in his mistakes, even when he tried to figure it out himself. God was looking to bless him. Not to destroy him. And it’s interesting to me that as he wandered, he’d go back to the places he built altars. Like he was asking God again about this home base.

Eventually, years after the process starts, Abram ends up camped in one place more or less. And he ends up with the promised son and more. And he has deep conversations with God. Which was what the promise had been decades earlier.

And it all happened because Abraham was living with the understanding that what he could see wasn’t all that was real. (more tomorrow)

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “All who wander.

  1. Sometimes I think my hope is in the experience of the resulting blessings and not necessarily the promise itself.
    The hope that the promise is a reality, that God’s words are a reality unto themselves helps me persevere. But sometimes I get so angry I destroy my memory of His promise.
    Sometimes the experience doesn’t align with the expectancy that has emerged in me in response to the promise. And it makes me despair and angry for some reason. Immaturity of faith, I always assume; if God had truly given me the grace to bear all temptation and if God is truly good then the anger and despair point to me. But I haven’t really managed anything more helpful than this yet.
    But “the understanding that what he could see wasn’t all that was real” leads me to believing that God’s words (which became flesh once) are truly a reality themselves and I guess if there is some of God I cannot see, such as His face, then there must be some of the promise I cannot see either. Because He may be making a promise to more people than me when He speaks it to me.
    I may not be the one to experience the resulting blessings of the promise the way I thought I hoped.

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