Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:4-6
“… and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.” (Genesis 12:5b-6)
Abraham was seventy-five years old and Sarah was sixty-five when they left Haran. His brother Nahor, and wife Milcah, stayed behind with all their children. It was in Haran that Abraham’s father died at the age of two hundred and five years (Genesis 11:32).
Sometimes God has to take our beloved parents so that we are free to move on and do His work. He knows that our love and concern for them, and their need of us, when they are old and weak and sickly, can hinder us from doing God’s will. The life God had called Abraham to would not be easy. There would be much travel. The glamour of worldly prosperity, of the old home in Ur, with all its comforts and familiarities, would be a thing of the past. In front of them lay trials, famine, and deprivations, and the unknown future with all its dangers. It is not easy for old people to leave what is familiar and begin a new life. So God, in His wisdom, called Abraham’s father, old Terah, home to his reward. And there are cases when the Lord must call our parents home too, so that we can fulfill God’s call. But don’t ask Him to do it until He is ready. Be sure that you never make your parents feel unwanted, rejected, or a burden.
When my father was on his deathbed, it was very hard for me to let him go. I loved him dearly. I was his only daughter; we had always been close to each other.
At the time I was living in Germany, and working in East Europe, taking Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. God told me that He was going to take my father home, and I must not ask Him to spare his life. He told me to return to “my father’s house,” for him to lay his hands on me and bless me, and to spend the last few days of his life with him.
As I saw him get weaker and weaker, and knowing he would not be raised up, I began to pray for God to take him home, out of his suffering.
One day, the Lord said to me, “Don’t ask Me to hasten his death. I still have a work of grace to accomplish in his life and prepare him for his eternal rewards, and I can only do it through this final suffering.
My father knew that the time had come for me to go to India for missionary work, so he was anxious to go Home also. But since the Lord showed me that it was not right for us to hasten the day of his departure I felt I had to speak to him.
So, with this on my heart, I sat down beside his bed and said to him, “Daddy, I know you are anxious for God to take you Home so that I can be free to go back to the mission field. ”
He answered, “That’s right, daughter!”
I said, “Don’t be anxious. God will take you when it’s the right time. You see, you are like a butterfly that is in its cocoon. God is making your wings. If you were to leave your cocoon of suffering now, you would not be perfected. Let God finish His perfect work. When it’s all done, and you are ready, He will come for you.”
This comforted both of us. Within a short time (about one week) God called him to His Eternal Home, and I went to India.
Leave your life, and the lives of your loved ones in the Master’s hands. He loves you, and He loves them. He gives the best to those who leave the choice with Him.
And when it is time to go, you will go out with “great substance” and the things that you have had to endure during your time of waiting will have made your life richer, and brought you closer to God.
In the Beginning by Gwen Shaw
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