Thursday, December 01, 2005

heart's desires

I've thought recently about how Abraham was commanded to give up his son for God. While the very idea is appalling to us in our day, still there are mystics and spiritualists who would suggest that the idea of giving up the things we treasure in our hearts still holds a lot of weight. Several phrases scattered throughout holy scripture come to mind. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Seek the Lord with all your heart. Your life is now hidden with Christ, in God. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Set your hearts on things above.

But what also comes to mind is the idea of God fulfilling the desires of our hearts, when we put our faith in him. It seems that it would be silly for us to always have to be giving up what God gives us to enjoy. Nor does it seem right that we should not seek these things from God. But I suppose that's exactly what Abraham went through. Even though his son was the fulfillment of God's promise, he still had to sacrifice him. What if, when we are at our happiest and most fulfilled, God asks us to give up what he's provided. The call, of course, is not some kind of holiness achieved through poverty or any such thing. It is rather to have faith and believe that God will continue to bless us as we trust in him and let go of the blessings. We should be grasping at nothing, for his blessing is constantly before us. Some of it is nothing we could ever achieve, merely by working harder or willing it to happen sooner. Abraham and Sarah could not conceive their baby any sooner, not forcibly. It either happened or not, and they had to live with that, faithfully awaiting the promise of God. I hope to do the same.

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