Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)
TITLE: Blessed Obedience
By Renee Gingery
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One day several months into the dream, I was maneuvering through traffic in the vast valley of Denver en route to tour the botanical gardens. Our means for provision at the time was a single fixed income from my husband’s teaching salary, so the idea of site seeing beautiful, cost-free plants and flowers within the concrete jungle became appealing.
Merging into the endless stop and go, I stole a quick glance in my rearview mirror to check on my passenger. Our firstborn, a mere six months old, was slumbering away. I marveled at the peace that enveloped my daughter – she lay completely unaware of the chaos surrounding her.
Returning my focus to the sea of vehicles, I tried to soothe my irritation toward the ceaseless road construction and detours. On a Monday afternoon, I didn’t figure the traffic would be so annoying—but I was wrong. Like a never-ending train, cars sped past me, end-to-end, and each vehicle held at least the driver and many a passenger to boot.
Crawling through limitless stoplights, I kept my eyes open for 11th Avenue and then York Street. The botanical gardens are tucked away in a mature residential neighborhood of Denver and are a short distance from the city’s zoo. As I neared my destination, majestic homes filled my peripherals, and I couldn’t help but notice that the city seemed to be spilling out cars, houses, and people.
My thoughts began to wander. Is this what God meant when he said he would multiply the nations? I figured he was referring to something more like cattle…flocks…people. I could only imagine what Abraham would say if he were to see how jam-packed the world has become. Would he stop and think, “Thank you Lord for multiplying the nations!” Or would he stare in disbelief at the expansion of pride, selfishness, and greed?
God’s heartfelt dream and blessing for Abraham was to expand the nations to number as the stars and as the sand on the seashore. Number as the stars? Sand on the shores? Have you counted the stars in your back yard or the sand in your sandbox lately? Can you even imagine? His promise to Abraham must have been incomprehensible. Mind blowing. The idea of a world filling with descendants multiplying as the stars in heaven is an awe-inspiring statement in itself.
But what did Abraham do before God promised these blessings? He obeyed immediately without hesitation. He was willing to sacrifice his only son, the very gift that God had so perfectly handed him.
Returning my focus to the drive, I turned the corner, entered the parking lot, stopped my vehicle and turned off the engine. The still slumbering child of mine reminded me of my original motivation to seek out the beauty within this exponentially growing Mile High city. Isn’t that how God viewed Abraham …a glimpse of beauty amongst the people?
Touring the gardens became a keepsake memory in my heart. Although my dream of living in the Mile High city was short lived, I had obeyed. Looking back I realize that I, like Abraham, obeyed God’s command to move. In doing so, I was blessed. God planted a seed in me that day which will one day bring forth generations of believers --who I pray will become flickers of light among the nations.
You have increased the nation, O LORD... You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land. ~Isaiah 26:15
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