22 October 2013

Life on the Move (Abraham's Story, Day 22)

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."  Hebrews 11:8-10

I started to believe I knew something of what it's like to be a nomad this summer, bouncing from place to delightful place for several months, not knowing where the next place of relative permanence would be.  Abraham, however, moved around the promised land like this not for a few months, but for his entire life--from the moment God's command to the moment he died.

And not Abraham only, but his descendants for the next two generations (not to mention the many generations of exiles in Egypt).  So I take it back.  I haven't begun to come close to understanding what it must have been like to spend decades being ready to pick up and move at a moment's notice.

The very language of Hebrews gives us the clue that Abraham, and certainly Sarah as the homemaker, would have wanted to put down roots and build foundations.  Instead, they spent their lives in tents, trusting in the final inheritance of all the saints.

When we likewise feel uprooted, whether facing an physical move of a household or an uprooting more emotional in nature, we would also do well to look ahead to the place where we will feel and be permanently at home.

It's a place where we can plant any kind of tree and be there to eat all of its fruit, not just for one hundred years like my husband's new favorite fruit tree, but for eternity.  Imagine it!  Don't lose sight of that place for a moment.  It's our hope and joy, and the glory streams through its open doors even today.  Let's take a glimpse at its surpassing beauty, its stable foundations.

"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Revelation 7:16, 17

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Revelation 21:1-4

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb...And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.  The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, a beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amythest."  Revelation 21:14, 18-20

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."  Revelation 22:1, 2

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