Saturday, April 16, 2011

Promises Deferred

I want to write, but I don't know what about yet.

I suppose I will just dive in. This morning I was reading about Abraham and Isaac. I've been going through the book of Genesis very slowly and thinking deeply about each story. I love that it's an ancient book and how God used stories to teach us life lessons. I've been able to come at them from whole new perspectives, these stories I have heard hundreds of times are real and fresh to me. Like in the times when Sarah submitted to her husband and called him her brother and then was taken into two different kings palaces at two different times and God protected her all along... proof that even when my husband messes up God will still protect me and take care of me if I will submit and follow His Word. But then when she steps outside that authority and suggests to her husband to sleep with her maidservant and tries to manufacture a blessing things are ruined. Hagar's life was ruined, their friendship (I wonder if they were good friends and would talk and laugh together throughout their hot days in the tent together), she had Ishmael who almost starved to death. There was jealousy and betrail, Abraham was kind of just caught in the middle and then he passively said, "Do whatever you want" and so Sarah mistreated Hagar. ... I am learning about submission and what it means to submit first to God and then to my husband. It's not exactly obedience as a dog or an animal, but it is following his leadership and listening to God.

So I was reading about Abraham and Isaac. I don't know how many times I have heard about Isaac almost being sacrificed on the altar. If you don't know it, Isaac is Abraham's only son, promised a long time ago, finally, he was born when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 (whoa, that's a long time to wait!) Then later God tells Abraham to go sacrifice Isaac on the altar on this mountain. Are you kidding me God?! I thought you were against child sacrifice! This is ridiculous, I'm thinking, Lord, really?! It takes a while to get to this mountain too. He's taking Isaac (I wonder if he told Sarah what he was going to do) and some servants, he chopped up a bunch of wood, told the servants to stay here, then went the rest of the way to the mountain. Then he bound up Isaac and put him on the altar and was about to kill him when an angel told him to stop. There was a ram stuck in the bushes to Abraham sacrificed it instead. Whew. God said, I was testing you and you passed, as it turns out, you DO, in fact, love Me more than him."

Wow God, really? Did you really just set all that up? Then I realized that these stories (That did actually happen) are also examples for us in our lives.

Isaac was a promise. He was a long-awaited promise, I'm sure there were many sleepless nights when Abraham was in his 80's and 90's when he thought, did God really promise me a son? Did He really promise that I would become a nation that would outnumber the stars? That would outnumber the grains of sand? Has He forgotten about me? Does He know how old I am getting? Does He know how old Sarah is getting? Most people have lots of kids by now. Most people are well past having kids by this age. Is he wanting me to adopt? What about Ishmael? I love him and he is my son... everyone else can do what I did? Why won't God bless him?

But Isaac was the promise. God was specific and personal. He wasn't going to do things in a natural way that anyone else could have the glory. So the miracle of Isaac, the promise, took place.

What a joy. What a blessing. I wonder how elated they were. Man, the love I have for my son, I could probably multiply that times ten and get their love for that little boy. If I had been Sarah I would probably be laughing and crying every day. I imagine Sarah was one of those women you just wanted to be around. She had a sense of humor (she laughed about Isaac being born to her in her old age), she was beautiful (otherwise all these kings wouldn't have wanted to take her as a wife), she was inventive and I think also felt things in a deep way. I think I would have wanted to hang out with Sarah.

Anyways, then God tells Abraham to sacrifice it.

Wow. See this promise? It's within reach, you are treasuring it and loving it? See how God has miraculously fulfilled it? Okay, now it is time to give it back. Do you love the promise or do you love God?


I started to think about the promises that God has given me in my life. The promise of my music rings most through my head right now. I have been watching (a little) American Idol, I talked the other day to a young artist about how I played in bars and have a CD and stuff.

Okay, I'm going to say something and it is going to be out there. You know when you have wild dreams and it's like you could sit around and day dream about them all the time? I have those. Had those. :)

I had (have) dreams of singing/playing for thousands of people. I understand that many people have had this dream. You sang in front of your mirror with your hairbrush, all that jazz. I remember singing in front of my stereo in my room and imagining I was singing a huge concert and interacting and talking with the crowd (this is kind of embarrassing to share) ... I think some times these dreams were self-centered... but more and more I felt like it was a call on my life. I began to sing for our praise team at church, lead worship in youth group, I even got to travel with a worship team and lead worship for a youth conference once.

I'm getting sidetracked. ... So recently these dreams have been coming to mind. How do I say this? God has blessed me in those dreams ten fold. I led worship for three years at our ministry every Monday night, I played in bars and coffee shops and got to share my heart. I made a CD and it's freaking on itunes. (if you want to hear it look for Jody McCall, Echoes in the Room).

I have kind of laid it all on the altar for my husband and my son. I mean, I have. I would be leading a completely different life had I not met Ben. And I am thankful I met Ben and I have the most amazing little boy in Levi. But I don't feel like I'm finished yet. I feel like I'm not writing songs as I should be, I'm not pursuing as I should be. I don't know, it's like it was on the altar and God said, no, I'm not done yet. I see that you love Me more than this dream, this promise (yes, I do feel like it was a promise from God) and I don't know what to do next. I don't know how things will manifest, but I believe that He is not done with me in this area.

Do you have any dreams or visions or promises the Lord has laid on your heart that maybe you abandoned or laid on the altar? Lord, awaken our spirits to Your Word. It is good.

Whew. That was a long post. This is what happens when I post less frequently.

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