During Lent, we consider our relationship with the Holy One. We are but dust, yet made in the image of God.
It is two sides of the same coin. We are significant and beloved in God’s eyes, but who do we think we are to stand in the presence of the Almighty and ask for anything?
At God’s request and in God’s mercy, we enter into a covenant relationship. The unconditional love we experience in that relationship compels us to trust God with every fiber of our being.
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Between God and Abram a covenant is forming. A bond is growing. A relationship is blooming. God is courting Abram the way a new baby turns a man into a father, whispering to him in the early morning hours, “Look into my eyes and imagine who you could be with me around.”
God turns Abram’s eyes to the heavens to gaze upon the multitude of stars and asks him to imagine that many branches on his family tree. God is inviting Abram to use his holy imagination. Abram is reluctant to go there. It is a promise that if unkept, will break his heart.
God’s voice reassures Abram that there is nothing to fear. And Abram’s hopeful heart reassures that God has chosen the right person.
Covenant God, your promises outnumber the stars. Help me to imagine a life for myself that only you could promise. Amen.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)