by Afton Rorvik @AftonRorvik
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8, NIV
I first discovered this verse in my twenties, at a time when I moved a lot. I wanted so much to respond to God as Abraham did, to trust God for the future unknown.
That future turned out to contain a husband, children, and a home for decades in a comfortable, quiet suburb. I love my neighborhood, my house, my yard, my “let’s-get-together” neighbors. I have loved raising my family here.
I could stay here forever. Perhaps I shall. Or perhaps God wants me to leave this comfortable place, this now empty-nest place. Perhaps He wants me to stretch. Perhaps He wants to show Himself faithful by leading me to unknown destinations.
How I would love to hear God speak to me in His out-loud voice as He did to Abraham. Wouldn’t you? Genesis 12:1 (NIV) says, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’ “
Ah . . . a clear voice. A distinct voice. An audible voice.
The waiting and the listening for next steps challenges me. When will God direct? Where will He direct? How will He fit all the pieces together? Truthfully, staying put and sticking my fingers in my ears sounds much easier. A bit childish, perhaps, but safe.
When I return to Hebrews 11:8, however, I can’t help but notice that it starts with two simple words, “By faith . . .” In fact, those words pepper Hebrews 11, a chapter that begins this way: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Abraham might have heard God speak, but He still had to place his confidence in that voice and act on what he heard.
And I know I must do the same. As I pray and listen and read and reread God’s Word, I must open my hands and heart to God in trust. I must keep learning to say, “I trust you and will follow your lead.”
Somehow living by faith stretches me more now in empty nest than it did in my twenties. Perhaps I have come to depend on routines and the known comforts of life. Perhaps I have settled into a no-risk pattern of daily life. Perhaps I have taken my eyes off the One, the only ONE, who knows what the future will hold and tried instead to put together the puzzle on my own.
Oh, may I, in this empty-nest season, learn to live by faith. May I remember that living by faith means trusting God when I don’t know the where or the why or the how.
About the author: Afton Rorvik savors words, flavored coffee, time outside, and living connected. Although an introvert, she has come to realize that what really matters in life is people and faith in Jesus. Afton’s book, Storm Sisters (Worthy), takes a story-filled approach to learning to stick around when storms hit a friend’s life. She blogs monthly at aftonrorvik.com and thoroughly enjoys Pinterest (Afton Rorvik). You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Join the conversation: Has God asked you to trust Him and follow His lead?