Advent, Abram and a hope for the future

Morning, below is a little reflection that I put together as part of an LGBT Christian Advent Calender. I wanted to share it here too, because I feel it’s a hopeful start to the Christmas season.

abraham

Today we’re looking back to look forward. Jesus is coming, and coming soon, but in the meantime, let’s pop back in time to Genesis and check in on his ancient ancestor Abram.

Gen 15: 1-5

1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram,
I am your shield,~
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

Abram had a lot. He had been called by God to head out on new adventures and to enter exciting distant lands. Through it all, he had been in and out of good and bad times and was blessed with cattle and sheep. He extended his borders again and again. But what he longed for, was family. A continuing story. An assured future.

Into that space, God shows up and he says, “Do not be afraid, I am your shield, your very great reward.” God brings with him a seemingly impossible promise not only of a future that will bless Abram, but that will bless the whole world.

How often have we been in that place of adventure and blessing in our generation, especially as LGBT Christians? We have been called into a unique slice of history with new adventures, figuring out how to live our lives together; often with a mixed bag of nightmares and dreams. But, like Abram, how many of us still long for something more? Maybe longing for a family or a partner, maybe longing to leave a lasting impression on the map, maybe longing for an assured future of our own.

I have longings like this. I often find myself coming back to God in the nightmare times going, “It’s impossible. Look at my life! I can’t believe in any more promises for Good, it’s never going to happen…”

But God says, “Do not be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

This word from him is an assurance, not that each of our individual dreams will be met, but that first and foremost, HE is our protector and our gift. This is our backdrop, our soft landing, the arms that wrap around us and lift us again and again.

“I am your shield, your very great reward.”

sheild-001

I don’t know which of my hopes and dreams God is going to fulfil, or when, but in the meantime, I take great comfort in knowing that he gets it, he sees and knows the longing of our hearts, and he promises to be our protector and prize.

Even Abram could not have known exactly HOW God would come to use him. He had no idea that many generations later a Son would be born who would bring hope and peace to the whole world. “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.”

But, Abram came to believe, “God’s got this…” and God counted it to him for righteousness.

As we move towards Christmas, it can be hard meeting up with family and friends and often not knowing what the future looks like yet for ourselves, but this year, when the longing hits, take that as a moment to remind yourself, “God’s got this…”

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