“You want me to do what?”, I murmured to the Lord with a slight hint of sarcasm. He answered, “Write them a letter.” Write them a letter?!!”, this time more fearful than sarcastic. What if the letter is not received well? How will they view me after that? It’s so personal and I’ve only met them once, Lord? What if they show it to others? Are you sure this is what you want me to do, God???
Has the Lord ever asked you to do something so big, so bold, so beyond your comfort zone that you tremble at the thought? Tightened stomach muscles begin to twist. Racing heartbeat progressively noticeable, through your shirt. That was me at the thought of writing this letter. A letter to a couple I had only met once yet knew the Lord had brought into my life for a very specific reason. As I sat at my desk that day, throwing a temper tantrum unbecoming to a woman of my age, all fear and anxiety melted away the moment I felt Him assuring me, “It will be okay, Esther.”
Scripture doesn’t say it but, this is what I imagine Abram experienced in Genesis 12 when God called him from the comfort of his home. “You want me to leave my country?… My people?… My family?” Abram didn’t have a map, Google directions, or our trusty iPhone GPS and yet, he didn’t allow the comfort of the known keep him from heading to a promised land full of unknowns. A promise that, in time, would bless the entire world for all time. He moved out in faith and, in verse 7, we see the Lord met him there. How quickly his faith in the Deliverer turned to fear of man when famine fell upon the land though. “Tell them you are my sister,” he told his bride, Sarai, “then I will be treated well for your sake and my life spared.” Not only had he used his wife for his own gain but, he had placed his faith in Sarai for protection and deliverance. He trusted his life would be spared for Sarai’s sake rather than God’s goodness and ability; a false security!
Although it took me a few months to “move out in faith”, I did end up writing that letter. I even hand delivered it! One day, turned to two and a week, turned to two weeks. No response. No e-mail. No phone call. No letter. Nothing. What I perceived as famine in my promised land of unknowns, set in. Fear mounted as I began anxiously analyzing every possible thing that I just knew they were thinking. I can completely relate to Abram. How quickly my faith in God’s assurance that “It will be okay, Esther” turned to fear of man. My story ends a little different than Abram’s though. In my desperate fear of rejection, I sat crying out to God. It was a cold Thursday afternoon and, as I sat there with tears rolling down my face, I released my need for a response. Lord, if I NEVER hear back from them, I will trust you are working. I will trust that I walked in obedience to you, that you are working behind the scenes, and I will leave the results in your hands, your timing. The very next day, just a little over 24 hours later, I received the sweetest e-mail from the couple, an e-mail that still brings tears to my eyes! I cry, not because of the words they wrote or the perceived acceptance, but because of the heart of my Father. I journeyed through faith into my promised land of unknowns and the Lord met me there.