Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.
— Genesis 13:9
We’re told in Hebrews that Abraham (or “the Patriarch formerly known as Abram”) was a man of great faith. I find this very comforting. Genesis reveals Abraham as a man who also struggled to trust God.
In Genesis 12, Abraham’s struggle to trust God led to much unpleasantness in Egypt, which in turn led to their eviction from Egypt. In chapter 13 when God’s blessings make it impossible for both Abraham and his nephew Lot to inhabit the same land, Abraham tells Lot to pick the location of his settlement. Abraham will take what’s left over. In this case he trusted God. Lot indeed took the land which appeared best. We know in hindsight that it was not so…but neither Abraham nor Lot knew that. Abraham trusted God.
Of course, it wasn’t too long after this that Abraham once again demonstrated a colossal lack of faith.
I like Abraham. I too am struggling to trust God. I want to trust God. I know I need to trust God. And yet I am assailed by doubts.
As a younger man I spent a year and a half living day to day, hand to mouth, meal to meal. I never went hungry, nor did I lack for a roof over my head. A short while later I trusted God to provide the money necessary to attend college and He did. These things seemed easy to me. Now I marvel.
“Where has gone, the faith of my youth…”