As painful as it is to let go of God’s good gifts, the process of releasing opens our hands to receive the greatest reward—the Giver Himself! As we internalize this biblical account, let’s anchor in our hearts the faithfulness of God who is our Provider.
If we are not careful we could easily get the impression that adolescence is a disease with headaches and heartaches, pressure and pain as its only symptoms. Not so! Adjustments and struggles may be present, but not to the exclusion of tremendous growth and remarkable achievements. These can be some of the most exciting years of one's spiritual pilgrimage.
Developing the habit of deferring gratification is no simple task, especially since we all seem to be multi-taskers these days. We live with the short term in mind.
The longer Abraham lived, the more he learned to take God literally, trust Him thoroughly, and obey Him eagerly. As the aging Patriarch approached the twilight of his life, he turned his attention to finding a lifelong companion for his son, Isaac.
Though a twin, he was quite the opposite of his younger brother and ultimately became the heartache of the family. Ripped off by his brother and rejected by his family, he couldn’t win, no matter how hard he tried. As we shall soon discover, the Bible pulls no punches. And you may find several places in this story where you can identify with Esau, “the son who couldn’t win.”
We know that we are all sinful and in need of salvation, but often, we fail to consider that we bear the specific “bents” of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. When we think about it, all of us must admit the direct link between the people we have become and the lives of those who formed our heritage—for good and for ill.
Playing favourites is nothing new. In fact, the Old Testament story of Jacob and Esau describes a family torn apart by favouritism. Parents and teachers today can learn from this family story—favouritism causes division that continues for generations.
As Abraham neared the sunset of his life, he clearly didn’t waste his retirement years sitting around feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he lived his last years to their fullest. From his example, we can learn a lot about ending well and finishing strong.
While you and I may not have the sculpting skills of Michelangelo we are able to use something even more powerful, our words.