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TITLE: Abraham and Me
By Kathy Barnes

This is intended as incouragement to those that are going through the trials of Christian living.
Many years ago, there was a man, Abraham that realized the idols he carved in his father shop were dead and powerless. Like him, I have found the idols I have carved of stone; power, honor, fame, wealth, family, and every physical pleasure have only left me dying, beneath their crushing weight. I too have had to place that which I prized the most on the alter and surrender it to God.
He sought and found a true and living God and stepped out in faith to follow him not knowing where it would lead him. I too have cried out to heaven and taken those first few steps to the cross not knowing where they might lead but only that I was lost and dying. Therefore, like him I take the first few steps trying to follow in his footprints.
Because he obeyed and believed that which he had not yet seen, God granted him a great covenant of blessing to him and his children. God laughed and his life became a blessing to the world and from the seed of his faith, the promise of salvation came to all people. Just as Abraham did not see, Jesus nailed and raised from the cross with his natural eye, I have not seen it with mine. Nevertheless, I believed and fell at the cross, afraid that just like man God would reject me. Somehow, His love overpowered me and I too was grafted into to Abrahams promise. Like him, I desire to be a blessing to others.
I too have been granted access to that covenant of blessing through the cross. My chains have been broken, and I have been set free from the yoke of sin breaking the curse of death, fear, sickness, addictions, poverty, and perversion. He has filled my days with laugher and taken the sorrow away from my nights replacing it with life, wholeness, wellness, joy, hope. He offers abundant supply of good gifts to me and my children.
Like Abraham, there have been times in my life when I have become impatient and in my weakness tried to help and hurry God along. I listened to the voice of others instead of the I AM. Like Abraham it has resulted unnecessary pain and suffering for Godís timing is always right and His ways beyond my abilities or understanding. At times, I wandered in the desert too lost in the trials of the day. Sometimes I am thirsty and parched because I have not drank from the living water of His love. Sometimes I am hungry and starved for I have fail to eat of the sweetness of His Word. Sometimes I faint beneath the intense heat of the desertís fire because I have wander out from the protection of His Peace. Sometimes I have found myself sunken neck deep in the sand and still going under because I have taken my eye of the path He has set before me and headed back to the old ways of sin I known. The pain of reality brings me back to my senses and I reach up again to my Savior.
I do not like the trials of life for they are often painful and require that I step out in faith, but they are necessary. Abraham was asked to offer up his son as a test of his heart. I find my heart can be quite deceptive and it sometime take the challenge of laying my most prized possession on the alter to know it true state. Without them I would not know how much I grown, or how much I still need to change.
Just as God provide the sacrifice of the ram for Isaac He provided the sacrifice of Jesus for me. The precious gift of His blood covering all my sin and shame because I sat at the foot of the cross and asked forgiveness knowing it should have been me nailed to that tree. As costly and beautiful a gift as His open arms of love and grace where; they were not the most treasured gift He gave, for after everything was paid He still choose to call me friend.
Just as He did with Abraham He still walks and talks with me be it morning or night. His talks to my heart with a small quiet voice telling me of His desires in my life and of His never ending love for me. He said do this and it will go well for you and bring you joy. He desires my company, although in truth I know not why. He never leaves my side and keeps me as the apple of His eye. With love, He wraps me tight under His wings of healing and sets His angels to guard and minister to my every need so that I have no need to fear the future.
Like Abraham, all I can do is offer up the sacrifice of praise to the one true living and faithful God that created me from clay, and redeemed me from Hell. His blessings are as countless as the stars above and I fall down in awe of His glory and righteousness. I lift my hand in wonder of the Father who would call me His child and adopt me as His own. There are not enough words to express the gratitude for all that He has done for one that was as lost, corrupted and possessed with every kind of evil as was before He cleansed me. Like Abraham, I want to see him face to face and tell Him that I love Him. I long to hear Him call me friend.

Kathy Barnes
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