“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’”Genesis 12:1 (NIV)
If there is anyone in this world who enjoys being at home, it’s me … but my son is a close second. (If you look up “homebody” in the dictionary, you might even see our pictures.)
So when it came time for him to decide on a college, my husband and I were very surprised he chose a school away from home.
Of course, I had encouraged him to explore all options. Isn’t that what a good mama is supposed to do? But I didn’t actually think he would select one of those out-of-town schools.
Once he announced his decision, butterflies churned in my stomach. Everything in me wanted to change my son’s mind, especially with the uncertainty of COVID-19 still upon us. But every time I tried to open my mouth to convince him to stay local, I could hear God say, “Letting go is as much about you growing as it is about him growing.”
In Genesis 12:1-2, God tells Abram, “… ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you …”. The great patriarch Abram (whose name would eventually become Abraham) not only believed God, but also stepped out in faith and obeyed God. One step of faith led to a lifelong journey of faith, and Abraham learned to trust God as Jehovah Jireh, his Provider. It was the making of Abraham.
Twenty-five chapters later, in Genesis 37, Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph also left the land of his forefathers (this time by force). Joseph went from a pit where he was meant to die, to a palace, to prison and back to the same palace. Along the way, he learned a valuable lesson: What the enemy intended for harm, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20) It was the making of Joseph.
In Ruth Chapter 1, Ruth chose not to return to the comfort of her homeland after the death of her husband. Rather, she remained faithful to Naomi, her mother-in-law. The two traveled to Bethlehem, where God allowed Ruth to meet Boaz and changed the trajectory of their lives, putting them in the ancestry of Jesus Christ. It was the making of Ruth.
So many examples fill our Bible.
God asks both men and women to step out of what’s known, easy and comfortable and step in to what’s unknown, difficult and even painful.
In the months leading up to my son’s departure (when I knew things were getting real), I did a lot of praying … both for him and for me.
And you know what? The dread turned to excitement. God reminded me of my own parents. After my sister and I left for college, God gave them a project: to create the first chronological Bible in their native language, Malayalam. It took years, but they did it!
I’m not sure what kind of projects God has planned for me, but I know one thing. My son isn’t the only one entering new and exciting territory. I am too.
Is there a tug-of-war going on in your heart today?
Has God been nudging you to go somewhere or do something outside of your comfort zone? I encourage you to take a small step in that direction. Or perhaps, like me, your next step is to let go and trust God to lead someone you love.
Whichever side of the equation you are on, I believe God has growth in store for each of us.
It just might be the making of you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many ways You direct our steps. Help our hearts to be attentive to Your guidance. Give us the peace we need to let go and to trust You … not only with our lives but with those we love. We place it all in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.