So…angels of the Lord come to your home. You know who they are. They tell you that your city is going to be destroyed, and you believe them. You even go tell your sons-in-law that everyone needs to leave. But…somehow, when it’s time to go, you just…linger.
You drag your feet. You find things to do on the way out the door. As my dad says, you dilly-dally.
Why? Just…why? Why, if Lot knew the city was evil, did he keep his family there? Was he going to marry his daughters to local men? Why, if Lot knew the city was going to be destroyed, did he linger?
Don’t even get me started on the whining. “The hills are too far! I’ll never make it! Let me go to this city. It’s a small city. I can go there, right?” What is wrong with this guy?
But, how many times do we know there is something that needs to be done and drag our feet? Maybe not “escape with your lives” imperative, but still? How many times are we led to do something, and we hesitate? You know, in case it’s not actually the Spirit leading. Maybe it’s just an idea I had, a daydream. Maybe it’s just the idea of whoever is asking, and it isn’t really right for me. Or maybe we hesitate because it’s overwhelming. The hills are too far away. Maybe we’re being too ambitious and this smaller thing is really more our speed. We’re just being realistic. Humble even.
Except, well, God loves to do the things through us that we could never do on our own. The things that would absolutely overwhelm us are the things that he’s leading us toward.
And for crying out loud, we need to actually trust God. Sometimes that feels like walking into a lions’ den or a giant furnace. How in the world are we going to survive this? But we have to trust him. Making our own plans, just in case…yeah. Tempting, sure, but never a good idea.
This is the second time Abraham lies to someone he’s scared of about Sarah being his sister! Did he learn nothing the first time?
Actually moving when God calls us forward is necessary. (At least Abraham got that right.) But trusting him as we go is also vital. When we set up too many safety nets, we get held back. We end up tying ourselves down. (Don’t misunderstand me: proper stewardship is a discipline we should all have. We need to handle our money wisely. I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep that emergency fund. That isn’t what I’m talking about.) Under most circumstances, quitting your job before you have the next lined up isn’t a good idea. But sometimes that’s what God asks of us. Under most circumstances, leaving the support of our family and community isn’t the best idea. But sometimes that’s exactly what we’re called to do.
It’s difficult, sometimes, often, to trust our ability to understand what exactly is being asked of us. We aren’t all fortunate enough to have angelic visitors telling us in so many words. But he does give us guidance when we look for it and peace when we accept it. Especially when we’re willing to talk through it with our spiritual advisors, mentors, and friends. He promised! And he always keeps his promises!
Just look at Sarah. She had Isaac well after it should have been physically possible, regardless of fertility. He gave his word, and then he gave her laughter.