15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield,[a] your very great reward.[b]” 2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.” 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Some things make sense only when seen through a spiritual lens. When you’re suffering, grieving a loved one’s death, or like Abram, yearning for something that realistically will not be fulfilled -- these things can gnaw at your soul. I’ve gone through such seasons. If God approached me as He had approached Abram in this passage, I would have scoffed as he did (Gen 17:7). This hurts! I can’t have what I want most! Don’t you care?
The deep yearning of Abram’s heart is to have an heir. As he and his wife Sarah advance in years, having a child seems impossible. When we see things through our own lack, it leads to bitterness and resentment, as Abram seems to blame God.
God's plan is greater than Abram could have ever imagined. God did what no human being could do. All Abram had to do was believe God, and then God credited Abram’s belief as righteousness. A part of me is bewildered that Abram received so much from such a simple act of faith. What's even more wild is that God invites all of us to believe in Him in the same way as Abram.
Every year, I visit Slims (San Francisco) to fellowship with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at the Annual Christmas Eve Concert. In early 2020, Slims went out of business, the COVID-19 epidemic began and we started "sheltering in place". Through the grace of God, this tradition will live on! This year, I will attend the OIGC virtual concert with my mother; she has never attended the concert and lives 3,000 miles away! We look forward to sharing a treasured annual tradition - together!