Monday, September 22, 2014

The Altar of Struggle

Arguably the most notorious altar Abraham built was the one upon which he nearly sacrificed his son Isaac. To tell you the truth, I’d rather this altar was omitted from Scripture altogether. The story sure would be a lot easier to read.

But it’s in there. And since it’s in there, we’d best give it a go. I mean, it may be a struggle - but just because something involves struggle doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it, right? Especially if that “something” is our reading of God’s Holy Word.

In fact, the struggle itself can be an altar. Struggle can be sacred space. Often times our struggles are the moments in which God is most fully present with us, strengthening us, guiding us, helping us get through one moment at a time.

Frederick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Indeed if everything comes easily to us, we tend to become complacent, lethargic, and apathetic. We expect to grow without doing the work that leads to growth.

I’m sure that Abraham struggled as he walked with Isaac to the place that infamous altar would be built; he would not have been human if he had not. And in that struggle, he grew even closer to God.

I’m sure that you have struggled in your walk of faith; I assure you that I have. And in that struggle, we grow closer to God, and closer to becoming the people God wants us to be.