Today I decide to take my lunch to a local beach in Two Harbors before I go to my chiropractor's appointment. It's an absolutely gorgeous day! The beach, tucked away from the main road into town, nestles into a bay that curves around rocky points that jut out into Lake Superior.
The water is warmer here and there are kayaks milling around not too far from shore. I notice on the far side of the beach little girls digging a deep trench, and for a minute it only looks like there is one girl, but then I see her when the other steps out of the way. She's almost entirely below the surface sand and like they found a treasure they can't wait to share, they run like mad across the beach to find their family. The wind is blowing, so much so that the one with long blond hair clings to her pink hat as she runs. I giggle as it reminds be of an old man that believes his toupee isn't noticeable until the wind picks up. But as I watch her little legs pump across the sand, holding on for dear life to that hat, my giggling stops and I just want to weep. And again I pray- pray that somehow soon all this will make sense to me and then I'm reminded of Abraham and Isaac.
Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his one and only rightful heir after all the promises He made regarding Abraham's descendants? Just to see if he would do it? We wondered during our first adoption attempt if God was perhaps just leading us through it just to see us active in our faith.
"That's dumb!", I remember thinking, "Doesn't God already know my heart and my willingness? Why actually make me go through the steps just to have it fall to pieces. That doesn't make any sense." Like Abraham though, God wanted us to act out our faith and so we did. But in Abe's situation God provided a ram stuck in the bushes at the most critical point in his journey. Lee and I were talking about this on Sunday saying, "We see no ram! Where is our ram?!?" I still don't know, and unlike Abe we have not been promised anything and I wonder if that made it easier for him to climb that hill with his son asking along the way where the animal for sacrifice was. But I resonate with Abraham's answer: "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And indeed, God himself will provide our ram as well.