I used to be one of those people who didn’t have a favourite Bible story. Simply out of principle. If someone asked me which was my favourite, I would give a vague reply. “There are too many to choose from,” I’d say, or, “They’re all so good.”
And … that’s true. There are a lot, and they are all good – otherwise they wouldn’t be in the Book of books. But a few years ago, one story started standing out to me. The more I thought about it, the more I could see myself in it.
It is the story of a man who lost home and found home. A man who trusted, even when he didn’t know where that trust would lead him. A man who took one step at a time, believing that the One who called him would be faithful.
That man is Abraham, but in this particular story, he is still called Abram.
A Call to the Unknown
“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
God tells Abram to leave his home, but He doesn’t even tell him where he should go. What does Abram do in response to this?
“So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” Genesis 12:4 ESV
Have you imagined what it would be like to be in Abram’s shoes at the time of his call? Have you imagined what feelings would tumble through you if God asked you to do what He asked Abram to do?
Pack your bags. Leave your home. Go somewhere I will show you. Without a doubt, this was a call into the unknown.
Abram Listened, Acted, and Trusted
I don’t know what thoughts shot through Abram’s mind when God told him that. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But the Bible does tell us how he reacted, what he did.
Despite his family originally worshipping other gods (Josh. 24:2), Abram listened to what God (Yahweh, the Great I AM) said, and he did it. He acted upon his Creator and Master’s words, despite any doubt that might have crept in.
What fascinates me most about the story is that Abram did all that without even knowing where he would be going. He only knew the very next thing he had to do: leave his country, his extended family, his heritage.
TCKs know that leaving behind everything familiar is hard enough, but to do it without even knowing where you are going? Sound scary?
So why did he do it?
Abram did what God told him to do without knowing more than the next step because he trusted that God’s word was good. He had faith in the One who called him, and he knew that one step at a time was enough.
My Prayer: Show Me Only the Next Step
Don’t we all love knowing the whole plan? I do, at least!
“Lord, just tell me what You want me to do in my life.” Have you ever prayed something like that? I know I have! But God doesn’t work like that. God is different.
If He told us everything, we wouldn’t have to trust Him. We wouldn’t have to depend on Him. As much as we might want it, God doesn’t show us the whole plan. He shows us one step at a time.
He leads us step by step. He shows us only the immediate next. I have made that my prayer. Instead of saying, “Show me everything,” I pray, “Show me only the next step.”
The Gift of the Unknown: Trust
Most TCKs have experienced a lot of uncertain situations in their life. I haven’t. Maybe that’s why I find the unknown so difficult. Or maybe it’s because I’m a planner type. Or maybe it’s because I’m human.
The unknown is hard. But surprisingly, it also has its blessings. I’ve seen that as I pray that dangerous prayer, “Show me only the next step,” I am slowly learning trust. Trust on a much deeper level than words can describe.
It’s in the uncertainty that who God is shines through the most: the Rock, the Constant, the One who holds my tomorrow. It’s not in security and safety that I learn to trust Him. It’s in the uncertainty. It’s in the unknown that I can see how trustworthy He is.
And therefore, as hard as it is for me to say, I’m thankful for the unknown. Because it’s there that I find that Jesus is already waiting with His hand stretched towards mine.
That is why I keep praying that dangerous prayer for the unknown. Because I, like Abram, want to live a life of faith, of trust, and of obedience. Always following my Lord when He shows me the next step and trusting that He knows what He is doing and that He will faithfully lead me.