This week, a very dear old friend of ours passed away. He was an amazing prayer warrior, and a gifted teacher of the Word of God. We cannot be sad for him – he had had a lot of health problems latterly, and was obviously in significant pain, although he never grumbled. There is no doubt that he will be fully enjoying his new life in heaven. Church will not be quite the same though. He always sat in the middle of the front row, as he had hearing and sight problems, and that seat will seem strangely empty.
As Abraham looked across the plain over to Sodom, where his dear nephew had been living, and saw the destruction of that place, maybe he felt that strange emptiness. He probably didn’t know that Lot had actually survived, and grieved for him. For Abraham, it was time to move on, away from the reminder of all that devastation. (Genesis 20 v 1)
When loss, sadness, disappointment strike you, there is a time to grieve, but eventually there is a time to move on. Maybe not physically – we don’t necessarily have to move house, job, church or anything like that, but mentally, in our choosing.
The next story of Abraham (with Abimalech) demonstrates how not to do it. Maybe his grief made him a bit reckless, but we next find him settling amongst strangers, under a false semblance (v2) once again putting Sarah at risk. Just trying to get into Abraham’s thinking –
- He had prayed for Lot and hadn’t seen a positive outcome
- God had made promises about Sarah that could not possibly happen
- Was God really trustworthy, or had he better make his own arrangements?
Of course, we will never know if this is how Abraham was thinking. But it’s a lot like how most of us think when we feel life is unravelling. We tend to kick against God, and do it ‘my way’.
God is still God whether we face loss or not. He still loves us when we mourn. He still wants to love and comfort us in our sadness and disappointment. And he is still trustworthy whether we see the answers or not. When it’s time to move on with your life, move on with God; like it or not, he won’t move away from you!