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Times of Transition

( [email protected] ) Aug 19, 2004 01:35 PM EDT

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. (Genesis 11:31 NIV)

Abram was already married to Sarai when he joined his father and set out for Canaan. Honoring his father, Terah, Abram left Ur of the Chaldeans, taking with him both Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his nephew. This group did not consist of just these four people, but of the entire household of Terah, with servants and tents and camels and donkeys, household goods and livestock, weapons and everything else a good bunch of nomads would need on their journey. Terah was headed for Canaan, the area that would be later referred to as the "Land of Promise" -- the place set aside for Israel, the place God would designate to Abram as the place where he was to go. But something stopped Terah in Haran, and the entire group settled there. If you look at a map, Haran was at the northern point of a very circuitous route to Canaan, making the journey twice as long as it should have been. But remember, Terah didn't have a map. There weren't any Interstate highways. He couldn't call Triple A for information on the best route. So he followed the rivers, rather than setting out across the desert. The man wasn't stupid, after all.

It's just possible that Abram already knew that he was supposed to go to Canaan when the party stopped in Haran. If so, it must have been very frustrating for him to hang around there, when he knew his destiny was in Canaan. But Abram was honoring his father's wishes. He accepted this time of transition, waiting for God's timing for him to move on. After Terah's death, Abram did just that.

Many times, God sets you and me off in a specific direction, giving us a vision of where He wants us to go. Then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves in our own "Haran", stopped in mid journey and unable to continue on. At times like these, we must emulate Abram, accepting the time of transition for what it is. Often, it is during these times that God is silent. We don't hear a word from Him. It's difficult to see Him moving at all in our lives. We feel lost, deserted, directionless. But what we need to see is God's loving instruction. Perhaps this is a time to do nothing more than to rest in Him, to wait patiently for Him. Perhaps He wants us to use this time to learn to accept His perfect timing for things. Perhaps He is building our faith, as well as our patience.

During times of transition, be patient. Wait for God. Stay in His Word and within His will. Know that even though all is quiet, God is there, loving you, teaching you to have faith in Him and in His perfect will.

From Newsong Ministries

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Used with permission.