Monday, June 19, 2006

Lowering the Knife

Yesterday I brought a Father's Day message, entitled, "A Father's Day." The text was Genesis 22:1-14, the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, his most treasured possession, on the altar as a burnt offering. The burnt offering was both final and fatal. So he laid his son on the altar, never questioning God, and at the point of absolute obedience, that is, as he was about to lower the knife, Abraham clearly heard the voice of God's messenger telling him to stop.

My challenge to the congregation was that we should lay our most treasured possession on that "altar of sacrifice," with the same unwavering faith as Abraham. It was during this part of message that I heard God speak to me very clearly and very lovingly, as only He can:

"Todd, you haven't done this lately, have you?"

It was true. I hadn't. I must confess that as Tracy and I and our children have been preparing to move to Walterboro, I have had second thoughts. Frankly, I don't want to move. The move will require me to alter my visitation with my children, which has been tearing me up inside. Yet deep in my heart, I know that this move is the right thing, though I don't fully understand what God is up to, sending a wild man like me into a very orderly atmosphere. I will be a square peg in a round hole, like I am just about anywhere else I go.

Yesterday, God required me to lay my children on that altar of sacrifice. Abraham never questioned God, and yet I have not stopped questioning Him. I finally did. I am in a battle that I cannot win. God is always right. Everything that has happened to me over the last few years has not been without a reason.

So, in my spirit, I "laid" my children on the altar, and I "lowered the knife." As I did, and this is absolutely the truth, I felt a peace that I have not felt in quite some time. In my spirit, I heard these words, "Look at them (my daughters, who were with me yesterday and seated toward the front of the church), they are still there. You are not going to lose them. I wouldn't let that happen. But you needed to put me first. You are all going to be fine, son. Happy father's day."

I have many more people and things to lay on that altar, but I can tell you that yesterday was a father's day I will never forget.
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