Welcome to this 40 day journey. I am working to help you (especially pastors) understand your losses and overcome them. Too many pastors live in denial of their losses and it eventually undermines their ministry.
I left off on Day Six talking about Abram. Abram was most likely excited at God’s call to move to Canaan. He was full of hope with visions of changing the world for God. But when he got to Canaan he was met with two unexpected companions: Canaanites and famine. He didn’t see that coming.
No sooner does he arrive that he feels compelled to leave Canaan.
Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. Genesis 12:10
I wonder if you’ve ever done that…left some place soon after you got there? The “famine” was too great. It’s disillusioning. You believe God is personal and he speaks to you. But when things didn’t line up like you thought you “heard” you didn’t know what to do. Sometimes it’s easier to just leave and start over.
We are all Abram before God transforms us into Abraham.
That’s what Abram did. But look what happens when he gets there. It’s as bad as Canaan, only in a different way. He’s afraid that pharaoh will kill him and take his wife so he tells his wife:
Please say that you’re my sister. Then everything will be alright for me, and because of you I will live. Genesis 12:13
This is a nice way to say, Please prostitute yourself to save my butt. Pharaoh was always looking to add another beautiful woman to his harem, and that’s what he did when he saw Sarah. Abram did two things that he probably never thought he’d do: lie and sell out his wife. How could this happen? What could drive him to do such things? Exile.
Exile puts you to the test and brings out your dark side. That’s one of the main reasons we hate it so much. Not only do we hate the Canaanites and the famine, we hate seeing the ugly way we respond to our new situation. We like to think we are better than that; we are above that. This is where many people turn to denial to salve their pain. But the bold and the brave embrace their dark side and invite God to do his work in them.
This story is here to help everyone called by God. We are all Abram before God transforms us into Abraham. Exile is what enabled God to call Abram his friend.
What has exile exposed in your life? Take a minute and comment at the very bottom of this page.
Also, please share this on Facebook so other people in exile will find some encouragement.