Have you ever faced a task which was at the same time extremely exciting and yet daunting? A task that held great potential and hope but that also seemed difficult and about which you felt uncertain?
Maybe it was a new career, a move to a new city, or even the decision to have children.
This is the struggle Abraham faced. He was living with his family when God came to him. "Go from your country, your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you."
God called Abraham to follow his command and with that command he offered a promise. God offered Abraham land for his new home, children for his future, and the promise of a nation made up of his descendants - even though Abraham's wife, Sarah, was barren. God promised to bless Abraham and his family so that they in turn would be a blessing to others. And Abraham followed.
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Abraham heard the call of God and he responded in faith. He trusted God fully, "being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised." Abraham didn't have all the details. He didn't know exactly how everything would work out. But Abraham heard God's call on his life. He heard the promise. And Abraham chose to have faith. He chose to trust in the Lord. Faith is the key to life with God. It was for Abraham.
We also hear God's call in our own lives. We hear God's call for the first time in our Baptism, when God calls us to follow him. But we continue to hear that call to follow throughout our lives. We hear it at times of hope - in marriage, in birth, at a new job. We also hear God's call to us when we are challenged - at job loss, a family crisis, in times of grief. God calls us to follow him each day with all that we are and all that we have. When we do, we will know God's presence with us. He will provide all that we need. This is his promise.
But it may be difficult. Following this call may seem daunting at times. Following God may seem risky. Often it requires change. Our lives may be turned upside down. Old expectations may be thrown out. Sometimes it's easier to just stay where you are, even if that place isn't very good. Even if it's lifeless, it's what we know.
But we are not called to lifelessness. We are called to embrace the life that God calls us to. To do this requires faith - trust in God. Following God may seem risky. It certainly did for Abraham. But when we follow, we can trust that God will provide. He will provide the means needed to follow his command. He will provide the skills needed. He will provide the right timing. When we follow our God, we can trust that he will provide. And out of that trust will come life. Out of that trust will come blessing.
When we trust, we will experience the promise of God. This promise brings life. For Abraham, the promise was children, land and a nation. For us, the promise is just as wonderful. God calls each of us. Listen for his call. He has a special plan for your life.
When you hear the call, you will know incredible excitement. You may also have some qualms. That's OK. We all do. I'm sure Abraham did. But like Abraham, we can trust. We can step out. We can follow our Lord. And when we do, our lives will know the promises of God.
• Sally Franklin is pastor of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fort Mill.