I know of many friends who heard God’s voice speak to them from this verse, and its original reference in Genesis 12. Usually, it would be at key junctions in their lives where they faced major decisions about work, relationships and/or relocating to a far off land.
Recently, I have come to realize that there is a more universal application for this verse. I have come to see that everyday, we are called to go, not knowing where we are going.
For we live life forward, and everyday is a new day. Everyday we live is a day that we have not traversed before. When we wake up every morning we have absolutely no idea how that day will end. Waking up is an act of faith.
Last weekend I was back in Penang, my hometown. I wanted to spend some time with my mother. I especially wanted my boys to visit with their grandma. They had not seen her for some time.
While I was there, I received news that a good friend’s father had passed away. (They are residing in Penang.) Both my friend and her husband are very dear friends. I have known her husband since I was 6.
Since I was in Penang I could be with them in their moment of loss. The dad had resisted the claims of Christ till close to the end. But had embraced Life before he died.
I had the privilege to share a short word at an impromptu wake service that first night. (My old dental training came in handy too as I had the privilege of putting on the deceased’s upper denture. I failed to seat the lower denture though.)
I hope the word I shared was meaningful to those gathered. It was very meaningful to me. These friends are very, very dear to me. And I had lost my own dad not that long ago. It meant so much to me to be allowed to play a small part in the lives of my friends at that critical moment.
I shared a short word from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 and talked about the need to grief, and the reality of hope in the midst of tears. I invited those who did not share in this hope, to consider the claims of Christ.
When I set out on my short trip to Penang, I had no idea that the visit would be so eventful. And meaningful. My heart is still reverberating with the implications.
God has promised us abundant life (John 10:10). So everyday, when we wake up, and choose to go into the day, it is in response to that promise. We have found that abundant life this side of heaven includes moments of ecstatic joy, moments of incredible plain, and large chunks of ordinariness.
Nevertheless the details of how a day is to unfold are rarely given to us. All we have is the promise of abundant life. So when the alarm bell rings, we get up, go to the bathroom, brush our teeth, and enter another day—in faith. Getting up is an act of faith.
Most days I have no trouble stepping into the day. In my short sojourn into clinical depression I did flirt with thoughts of suicide. But I thought it would be Intolerably unfair to leave my two boys orphaned. And so I got up, even on days when I wanted to sleep…
When God first asked Abraham to leave the familiar and go to a far off land, He promised that if Abraham went, he would be blessed and many would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham responded and set into motion initiatives of blessing that continue to operate till today.
May we hear this Abrahamic call everyday. Over the sound of flushing toilets, as we smell the morning coffee, the Lord invites us into a new day. He invites us to go to a place we have never been before. He promises that if we obey we will be blessed. And we will a blessing to others.
May we respond to His call. Everyday. Until that day when He takes us a bit further than we expected. Like my friend’s dad. But it’s all about abundant life.
Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan