When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
~ Genesis 22:9
I have often wondered what Isaac thought the next time his father invited him to go for a walk. God had required a sacrifice from Abraham to demonstrate his faith.
Many people would argue that Isaac was not sacrificed, instead a poor ram had become entangled in some shrubs and that was instead the sacrifice.
The truth of the matter is, Abraham built an altar, he took his son, whom he loved, and he bound him and laid him on the altar.
To me, anything that is laid upon an altar is something that we are willing to give to God.
My dad always seemed to like a good fight, but when I became ill, the real fight was on. My dad went to amazing lengths to find a way that his son would not only live, but would flourish.
I remember my dad telling me to "pull myself up by my bootstraps."
I would tell him, "My straps are broken. There is nothing left."
He struggled to understand just how broken I felt, while in the meantime he prayed for me, took me to churches that would pray for me. I was brought to many altars, and time and time again, there just didn't seem to be any change.
I realize that it's important to participate in your own healing, and I was done. I was exhausted, and the thought of heaven looked better all the time.
It wasn't until my dad uttered one day after I told him I was dying that he said, "I know son, and I'm sorry I can't do anything about it."
I remember looking almost in shock. I then realized, my father just surrendered his son to God.
I won't ever forget the feeling, but as I look back, I realize my illness was as much a learning experience for me, but for my dad, it was a life-changing experience he had with God.
What is it that is keeping us from having that relationship with God?
Abraham built an altar and laid his son on it.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, may I recognize today just how holy You are, and that through You, all has been given. May I surrender all things that find their way between me and You. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.