Genesis 12:9 NRSV
And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negab.
Abram has received the call from God to leave his country and his family and go where God is sending him. It is important for Abram to leave his family and that is because they are heathens and God is going to redeem Abram and then make him the father of all nations. God has big plans for Abram. God tells Abram that and it is up to Abram who has been brought up among heathens and he worshiped a false god himself, to now accept the voice he hears as that of the One true God who can indeed give to him what He says He can. That is why we read in Acts 7, Romans 4, Galatians 3, Hebrews 7, and James 2 about the faith of Abraham. Abram heard God and believed it to be God and responded to God in faith and he left his home and family and started off to a foreign land. Abram started on his journey and as we read in today’s verse he journeyed on by stages.
We just got done going through the book of Esther and learned how God prepared her for the role of the queen and to save her people. That is quite an impressive story. I want us to also understand that it is not unique. We can go through Scripture and see how God uses His people and pickup a common theme, God prepares them and they journey in stages. God does that because He knows us and He knows how much we can handle. I know this to be true.
When Gary first got sick and was in Marionjoy there was nothing I wanted more than to bring him home with me. I didn’t even care how many times I ran back and forth to bring him to outpatient as long as I had him home I was happy. Little by little and month by month the days got harder and in some ways Gary’s injury took a turn for the worse but in many other ways, I just accepted his limitations. I didn’t lose hope, I have not lost hope, I just came to the conclusion that Gary is better off in residential care where others can take care of him. They can keep him distracted and watch him 24/7 so that he will be safe. That is what he needs and that is what I could no longer provide.
Had Gary been placed right out of Marionjoy into residential care that would’ve been too much for me to bear. I wanted Gary home, I wanted to try and give him space to heal and see if his brain would be restored. I was not ready to place Gary in residential care, that was a big painful step for me. I go to visit Gary several times during the week and still cry on the way home. I am not saying that it isn’t hard because it is hard but it is not as devastating as it could of been had I placed Gary there in October 2011. God knew that and it is for that reason God moved the two of us in stages. He prepared me for this calling in my life. I journeyed in stages just as Abram did and also some of you.
We all know what it is like to suffer and hit a hard time in life. If we are honest and we look back we can see how God prepared us and how God moves us and we know that God did take care of us the entire way. It is hard to see that in the midst of a trial and that is why I want you to start learning how to journal your days. I don’t want you to just journal what you do or what you eat, journal how you feel and what you believe God is saying to you. When a calling from God comes, one that does not make sense, you can look back and see how God prepared you for this call. Does this make the pain of trauma go away? No and God knows it won’t but He does know that while we are crying and talking to Him we will begin to see and understand, that He never leaves us or forsakes us, He is with us and He does go where He sends us and He does send us but He sends us in stages.