Wednesday, April 06, 2005

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night

Charles Shultz, the creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all the gang, had success as a cartoonist because he wrote life into his characters. Each one of them was so human - even Snoopy, that we could readily identify with them. The title of this devotional comes from Snoopy's continual attempt to write the "Great American Novel", always with the same opening words - "It was a dark and stormy night..."

We have those. Nights when we can't sleep because worry prods us awake. Nights when we lie awake in fear, wondering if we are going to make it - if it all is going to be okay. Despite every outward appearance of tranquility, maybe even a spouse fast asleep beside us, the light races away and the storms come.

Few have had a night worse than Abraham.

Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am."2 "Take your son, your only son--yes, Isaac, whom you love so much--and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you."3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go.

Gen 22:2-3 (NLT)

I was reading this today in preparation for tonight's Bible study, and it jumped out at me: "The next morning..."

That meant Abraham was told the day before, and spent a dark and stormy night in advance of his departure. What follows in the remainder of the chapter is one of the pinnacles of faithful obedience in all of the Bible. How did Abraham do it? How could someone endure such a trial?

Lots of people go through tests every day - a doctor delivers bad news, a spouse says goodbye, the boss hands you a pink slip. Life has its share of everyday troubles, this we know well. In watching people over the years, one trait has stood out for me in those who overcome such difficulties..

They have a Big God.

By that I mean that their God can do whatever He chooses to do - there are no limits to His power, no barriers to His love. He's a Big God.

So when trials come, they turn in trust to God and think "I can't wait to see how He gets me out of this one." That's not to say that they don't stumble at first - shock affects everyone. But when they get their "feet" back under them, they start believing God is able to take care of them.

Abraham had a BIG GOD.

We read this and take great logical leaps. "Well, Jesus raised Lazarus, and Paul raised Eutychus, and besides, Jesus rose from the dead. No sweat.

Might I point out to you that Abraham had absolutely no experience with resurrection?

THUD - (preconcieved notions hitting the floor)

But he believed God.

I'm not going to tell you that a living faith in Jesus Christ will mean that you avoid any of the troubles known to man. But I will tell you this - when you've trusted God with your whole life, He'll take care of you. Nothing will separate you from God's love.

So if it's dark and stormy where you are right now, move closer to the Light.



This devotional is written by David Wilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist church in Valparaiso, FL. If you find you have received this via a forward and would like to receive it regularly, or find you no longer wish to receive it, drop me an email at and I'll make the change to the list. If you'd like to know more about New Hope, visit our website at . May God bless you.

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