“God told Abram, “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land I will show you.
I’ll make you a great nation and bless you… All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.”
The creek that runs through Crazy Woman Canyon winds down from the mountain and into the town of Buffalo, Wyoming. We made our way deep into the canyon, following the Clear Creek the entire way. The road is narrow, forced to follow the path of the rushing water along the way. But there are several pull offs, because it’s inevitable…. you can’t simply drive through the canyon. At some point, you must get out and explore. We crossed the rushing water, Peter leading us through the water, testing out the rocks first before he’d let us step on them. It was so loud that we had to shout in order to hear one another. Even in the middle of summer, it was icy cold and the kids plunged their feet in, their teeth chattering.
When we returned to town later, we went to the park, where Clear Creek ran right through the middle. It was the same creek, but everything about it was different than in the canyon. We were able to let the kids explore on their own, slipping through the rocks. We sat on the shore while they played, the gentle sound of running water relaxing us.
Wendell Berry writes,
“It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
And so God called Abraham to leave all that he knew. He stripped away the familiar— his home, his country, his family— and called him to a life of utter dependence and obedience. And Abraham took the risk and said yes. He dared to give up the calm waters for the white waters. The unknown obstacles must have been enormous. The fear must have been overwhelming. But he did it anyway. At 75 years of age, he took his wife, his nephew, his livestock and his family, stepping into the unknown.
D.L. Moody, an American evangelist and publisher, wrote, “Faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breath it; so is bread, but you have to eat it; so is water, but you have to drink it.”
God has given you the gift of this Advent. He has promised to bless you. But you must open your eyes to the blessing. You must dare to live with your heart and hands open to receive, even when your heart has been broken into pieces. We hear the whispers to huddle in, to protect ourselves and live closed. The grief is too much. The anger is too real. The stronghold is too big. But it isn’t true. Jesus came to heal, to bring peace. His life is a gift to you. You can let go of it all, because He has come.
The rocks in the stream— the obstacles in your life—might threaten to overtake you, but they are also the very thing that allows your soul to sing.
And the amazing thing about our heartache is that when we allow Jesus to heal us and bless us, we suddenly open our eyes to the hurt in the world. And we realize that we ourselves can be the blessing to others.
God blessed Abraham and in turn, Abraham was a blessing to others. He does the same for you. It’s the strangest thing, but to the tip of my toes I know it to be true. When you allow God to use your heartache, you will bless others. Sit with a piece of paper and test it out yourself— how have others blessed you? A kind word, a note, a gift? Pass it on to someone else, even when your heart is heavy. When we live as blessed people, we can freely give blessings to others.