The Jesse Tree // Abraham

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Genesis 12: 1-3

Raise your hand if change is easy for you, you value the very idea of letting go of your “norm” and finding something totally new totally easy to adjust to. Nope? No hands? Didn’t think so. I cannot think of one instance in my life that change hasn’t brought some sort of anxiety, some sort of feeling of uneasiness. Now, that’s not to say that all change is bad, quite on the contrary, I think change is healthy, it motivates us, it moves us and it’s all in all good for us. But low and behold change is seldom ever comfortable. It’s hard for most of us to give up what is comfortable. We are creatures of habit, and change challenges that.

In Genesis 12 God promises Abram. Those promises led to covenants and according to one of my theologically advanced coworkers, these promises lay the brickwork for the Bible. The entire Bible. How cool is that? How awesome that we have a God who promises us in times of change, tells us that if we cling to him, if he remains the lamp, the torch, in which we use to light our lives, we need not despair. Now of course God promised Abram some pretty huge things- land, a dynasty and worldwide blessing. Those are some awesome prizes, but I have to remind myself that Abram, like you and I, I’m sure didn’t come across those things without some feelings of uneasiness. 

It was all new, all change, and I’m sure all, to some extent, anxiety inducing. 

One major change that I walked through in life was attending college. I came from an extremely small town full of like-minded people and was thrown into a world much different than what I was used to. Suddenly I wasn’t surrounded by people who were all the same, instead I met people from many walks of life, many backgrounds and religions. My hometown is majority Catholic, mostly cradle-Catholics. Let’s just say my college dorm floor had a majority of “undecided” or “I used to be Catholic when I lived with my parents.” The change was hard. It was the first time I had to walk my faith without having my parents there to wake me up for Mass, or telling me what to believe or how to believe it.

This change proved extremely uncomfortable. I grew homesick at times, I found it hard to make friends, I constantly teetered between this “new world” and the one that I had left. As much as I wanted to let go of my “small town girl” ways, I continuously felt the pull of God bringing me back, calling to me. 

Luckily I found a campus ministry that I would like to credit with “saving” me and probably most of the reason I remain a practicing Catholic today. I fear without their fellowship, I would have lost my faith to a world full of empty promises. I learned that God promises more, so much more. I learned that you don’t have to know the most to be the best disciple of Christ, you don’t have to be the most perfect or make the least amount of mistakes, you just have to be willing to bring yourself back to Christ. To ask for forgiveness, admit you need Him in your life and to keep walking the path he asks you walk. I learned that I had the sword I needed inside of me to defend my faith, to keep that fire inside. 

The Lord asked Abram to leave what he was comfortable with, all with a promise of a new life, a new better and greater life. We are all called by the Lord to use our talents, our lives in different ways. Life constantly changes. It grows, it moves and it’s unexpected. Our stability remains our rock, our Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” There is no greater promise than this. No matter the change that occurs in our lives, our God is never-changing. He is and always will be.

Reflect: What is a time in your life that you experienced a lot of change? What was the easiest part of that change? What was the hardest to accept? God makes three promises to Abram. Think about promises you have made within the last week. How can you hold yourself accountable to those promises? 

Act: The next time you encounter someone going through a time of change (ie: new baby, a move, new job) reach out to them with scripture. Let them know that although in a lot of ways they may feel out of control, our God is always in control, always present, always constant

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