In Genesis 12:1-4, God calls Abram to leave the land of his ancestors, to forsake his family home and set out for foreign regions, to a land that "I will show you." God asks Abram to leave behind everything that defines who he is, everything that gives his life meaning, and everything that allows him to provide support for his household and his wife.
God asks Abram to leave his current lifestyle and circumstance for a new life that will transform him into the person God is calling him to be. Abram did as God directed, seemingly without hesitation, trusting in a promise that God would bless him and make of him a great nation, even though Abram and his wife Sarai were barren; they had never been able to conceive a child.
They were heading out into barrenness with nothing but promises. God was leading them on their way.
This story challenges me as we move into the heart of Lent. I wonder, as a husband and father, whether I would be as ready as Abram to trust God in uprooting my family. Would I so willingly abandon my safe and comfortable home for the uncertain danger of the unknown?
It seems as if God were leading Abram and Sarai away from the security of life into the certainty of death. In a similar way, as we continue our own journey this Lent toward Holy Week, God seems to be calling us to walk a path that eventually will lead us to share in an experience of the passion and death of Christ.
Like Abram and Sarai, we do not journey alone. God is guiding us along the way. If we follow God’s lead, we trust that the journey of Lent will bring us to a place that will fulfill the promise of blessings and new life.