Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham, when he was called,
obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;
and he went out, not knowing where he was going
Hebrews 11:8
When COVID appeared in March, it gave the impression that we were in for a short sprint to summer, with all things surely returning to normal by fall. But now we know otherwise. Now we recognize that we are not running a short race, and COVID appears to be more like an exhausting marathon. A marathon we did not sign up for, and certainly did not train for, one that has caused an abundance of uncertainty and has us asking all kinds of questions:  How long until there is a vaccine? Will it be 100% effective? Will we gain a better awareness of chronic and invisible illnesses? When will we be able to travel? How can I protect myself while flying? What about school for students? Will there be sports and activities for our kids? What should I do with my 401-(k)? How long until the economy recovers? Will my job be in jeopardy? Will I get sick? Should we plan a vacation? What will go back to the way it was pre-COVID? How will this affect the fall election? How will COVID affect my mental health? And, what about fall football?
 
As I have been contemplating our current COVID marathon, Abraham from the Old Testament has repeatedly come to mind. He was a pagan worshipper of the moon god, residing in the land of Ur, and God choose to reveal himself to Abraham. Not only did God call Abraham to himself, he also directed him to leave Ur and travel to land that God had set aside for his people. At the age of 75, he was asked to leave his father, his father’s household, and his country and was told to take his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and set out for Canaan. He had no map, no GPS, and no travel agenda. He was to go out, ‘not knowing where he was going’.
 
If Abraham had asked questions of God about his mysterious journey, they might have included things like:  How long will this trip take? Lord, do you know how much work it takes to move a whole household? And my wife, she is not exactly young, will she be okay? How about safety? Will we encounter thieves or armies? Will there be enough food and water on the way? What will the land look like? Will it be adequate for my animals? What about Lot, he can be challenging at times. Are you sure I should take him? And more.
 
It's not known if Abraham asked or even thought about the myriad of uncertainties he was about to face. But we do know he obeyed, and God provided and lead him day by day for many years. Perhaps Abraham focused on the question, ‘what do I do today Lord?’ rather than spending untold hours questioning the quality of his future. Author and teacher, Elizabeth Elliot, wisely encouraged her listeners, when overwhelmed to just, ‘do the next right thing’. This can be especially helpful as we run the COVID marathon, and we find the horizon full of questions with very few answers.
 
For today, let’s imitate Abraham. Rather than sit and ponder our unsettled and undetermined future, we can ask, ‘Lord, what is the next right thing?’
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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