Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. (Genesis 11:31 NIV)
Abram, who would become Abraham, the father of many nations, set out with his father, Terah, to travel to Canaan. They settled in Harran, about halfway to Canaan. A delay in your calling that God has given you does not necessarily mean that the Lord has changed his mind.
The scripture does not tell us why they stopped at Harran instead of completing their journey. Some commentators have suggested that due to Terah’s age, he could no longer travel. There are times where circumstances are beyond our control. Our spiritual journey is often traveled in segments that involve delay and even diversions from our intended course. The apparent disruption in our spiritual odyssey is often preparation for obtaining our inheritance from the Lord. In God’s Kingdom the shortest distance between two points in not always a straight line.
Unlike us sometimes, Abraham, after the death of his Father, proceeded to Canaan. Through delay, we often lose site of our spiritual goal. It is noteworthy that our promised land is not just a place where we arrive on this earth or even something that we do; it’s an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Although our Heavenly Father uses our calling to fulfill his purposes on this earth, in our lives it is a means to an end and not an end itself. God is calling us to ascend the mountain of delights to discover the knowledge of the Holy One. This is our Canaan land. In arriving at the summit it is not about being at the top, but who we find at the top.
Often when we arrive at the valley at the foot of the mountain and we become prosperous and comfortable. The glimmer of the snow on the peak becomes less and less inviting, and little by little, we lose our desire to climb it. God will allow us to do this if we so choose, but we must remember that the view of the Lord from the valley will never be as spectacular as the one from the mountaintop.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing