I am reading a book called Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Next Part of Your Journey” by Gordon McDonald. McDonald, through the life of Abraham, explores life trials and choices that lead to personal transformation.
If you recall the life of Abraham, he had been called to give up that which was most precious to him, his son Isaac. This was a defining moment in Abraham’s life! Would he say “No” to God, thus losing the lesson God had for him? Or would he trust God and give up his precious son?
At pages 112-113, I paused to ponder these words: “Someday you will be called to mountain” “You will be asked to bind up what is precious to you and give it back. And in that moment you will know whether or not you really ever left … Health, a comfortable life, skills. What of this might God ask me (or you) to bring to the mountain?”
Has God invited you to the mountain to give back something precious to you? He has invited me many times. And many times I have either ignored His call or grabbed my precious person or thing back from the altar.
God currently has me on a mountain right now. My finances and some of my mental skills lay on an altar. For decades, these have been precious to me. As long as I know I can pay or think my way out of a problem, I feel safe and secure with few concerns. My personal mantra could be “I am able!” But God wants me to know He is able!
God has used a cancer diagnosis and its ongoing medical and financial impact to help me learn what is truly precious. Mounted debt from medical bills and living expenses during multiple surgeries and recoveries and the subsequent biological changes of “chemo brain” that make reliable concentration, focus, and logical thinking a thing of the past have lead me to a fork in the road. I can choose to think of my trial as a terrible thing that has ruined my life. Or I can think of my ongoing trouble as a God given opportunity to re-order my life to bring it into greater alignment with God’s will.
So, please do not be disheartened or discouraged when God allows troubles to come into your life. These troubles may be the very vehicle God uses to help you determine what is truly precious. As followers of Christ, we are to set our “minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
What earthly things might God be calling you to place on the altar?
What are you not yet ready to leave behind?