There have been many times in my life, especially because of my age, that I thought to myself, there’s no way God could be using me right now. Growing up, I heard countless stories of the incredible ways God used people to change lives. Whether it was a Bible story in Sunday School or a story about a missionary in another country, I would hear these incredible stories and think to myself, “God won’t use me like that.” My life never seemed worthy or capable of some grand adventure like the ones I learned about in church or heard about in testimonies. But then, when I was a freshman in college, I learned that God’s power and plan far outweigh my wildest imagination for my life.
In Genesis 11, we meet Abram, son of Terah and husband of Sarai. At this point, all we know of Abram is his family line, including the fact that his wife, Sarai cannot have children. I would imagine that, much like me, Abram didn’t think there were many grand adventures in store for his life. Knowing his wife was unable to have kids, he definitely didn’t think children would be a part of the picture at all. But then God stepped in, and He invited Abram to join Him on the adventure of a lifetime. Read Genesis 12:1-5. In verse 1, the Lord says to Abram:
Go from your country, your people, and your household to the land I will show you.
One day, Abram is living a comfortable, safe, normal life with his family and the next God says, “This isn’t all that I intend for your life; follow me.” I was living a comfortable, safe life as the second half of my freshman year began.
I was comfortable at school, had a lot of friends, and thought my life was pretty great, even if it wasn’t too adventurous. But then a door opened and I was faced with an invitation into an adventure I didn’t even know I wanted or needed to go on. One day, I was content with my uneventful college life and the next God came along and said, “This isn’t all that I have planned for you; follow me.”
Verses 2 and 3 go on to give us a sneak peek of the grand adventure God has planned for Abram – plans to bless him, plans for him to be a blessing, plans for all of the people on earth to be blessed through him. Here is this guy who never thought he would have children just living a quiet life with his family, and all of a sudden the Creator of the Universe is telling him that, instead of being a quiet husband, he’s going to be the means by which God will bless ALL OF THE PEOPLE ON EARTH. Even more than that, we find out in Genesis 17 that he will be the father of many nations.
Talk about a shift in life plans.
This was the ultimate adventure; it was shocking and unexpected, and quite scary as we learn in the rest of Abram’s story in Genesis. But here’s the kicker, my favorite line in the story, “Abram went.” When God offered the invitation for the adventure of a lifetime, way beyond Abram’s own plans or dreams, Abram went. He went and everything changed; God honored his action and He used Abram, whose name he changed to Abraham, to bless all of the people on the earth. In my story, the decision wasn’t as simple or quick as two words.
Leaving my comfortable life for an adventure wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t say “no” to a grand adventure with the Lord. So I went. I gave up a summer, I left the comfort and safety of my life at home, and I followed the Lord on an adventure that changed my life more than I ever could have imagined, giving me far more than I gave up when I decided to go.
It’s easy to get caught up in the trap that your life won’t be a crazy story of adventure. When we read stories like Abram’s or hear the testimonies of incredible people in church, or see famous people on the covers of a magazine, it’s easy to think “my life could never be like that.” But here’s the kicker- it can be, because you are the son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe, the ultimate adventurist, the wildest dreamer, and he made YOU for a specific purpose, a specific adventure, that’s different than anyone else in the world. Your adventure may not look like Abraham’s; it may not look like mine; it may not look like what you imagine, but God is extending His hand to you for the adventure of a lifetime, the question is: will you go like Abraham? Will you say “yes” to adventure, will you say “yes” to surrendering your quiet, comfortable, safe life, your own plans and dreams, in exchange for the most perfectly crafted adventure with the One who loves you beyond your wildest imagination? For you, that may mean giving up lunch at the table with your friends to eat lunch with someone who doesn’t have a table of friends to sit with. It may mean putting down your phone or turning off the TV and having a conversation with someone instead. It may be a big adventure, or the combination of a lot of little ones. But no matter what your adventure looks like, the Lord will use it, and He will use you, because like Abraham’s, mine, and so many others’ stories show, God uses unexpected people in unexpected ways to bring unexpected blessing.