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What we can learn from God testing Abraham

In today’s readings Genesis 22:1-18, God called Abraham to go to the land of Moriah, taking his only son Isaac, and to offer him up as a sacrifice. So, Abraham (determined and unfailing) heads into the woods, prepares an altar and ties up Isaac, ready to sacrifice him to answer God’s request. At the last minute, God stops Abraham from committing the sacrifice. Praising Abraham, He says “because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly…all this because you obeyed my command.” 

At first glance, this story may seem extreme that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son, the one he loved most, just in order to test Abraham’s faith. However, this story doesn’t mean God will call on us to sacrifice our children. In fact, we can think of this as a time to reflect on how God is testing us in this time of uncertainty and change. More than that, how far we are willing to push (even in the difficult circumstances) to prove our love and devotion to him. 

Quarantine has disrupted everyone’s lives in a way that few have ever experienced. Our daily schedules, routines, normalcies, and most importantly, the sacraments, have been stripped away.  When we lose our prayer routines or the graces we receive from the Eucharist and Confession, this can take a toll on our faith.  We shouldn’t be despaired by this reality, in fact, we should expect it to an extent and welcome it as a sacrifice that we can find ways to endure.  While there isn't much we can do about not receiving the sacraments, we can organize ourselves and our schedules even more, and set reminders to not let our prayer routines fall along the wayside.  Not allowing these trying times to shake our faith is the challenge that God has laid in front us, and in the footsteps of Abraham, we must be unwaveringly faithful to our Lord. Despite feeling that we have lost momentum with everything else in our lives, we need to be able to answer God’s call to pray and devote intentional, uninterrupted time in our day for Him. 

With today being the last day of Lent before Easter, let’s try to think how we are being tested, and how we are going to continue to answer God’s call to us as determined as Abraham did. 

Gabrielle Clark is a Junior concentrating in International Relations and Economics and sent us this post from Bakersfield, CA.

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