My family has a special call when a meal is ready and on the table. In a swooping, high-pitch voice, one of the ladies of the family will call out, “Whoop, whoop!” We all know that this is the signal that we are to stop whatever we are doing and make ourselves available to eat. A second call might be given if a family member does not show up promptly. Rarely is there a third call. Instead, either someone goes looking for the absent person or dinner just starts without that person.
“Whoop, whoop!” is a call for folks to come, to make themselves available. There are hundreds of “whoop, whoops” in our lives everyday. Some come from family, others from friends. Some come from work, others from hobbies and leisure activities. Still others come from charities, benevolent organizations, or churches. If you are like me, there are literally dozens of calls in my email inbox everyday from business wanting me to buy something (and despite how many times I “opt-out” I still seem to get the same emails). Most importantly, are moments when God calls to us: “Whoop, whoop! Are you there? I need your help. Will you come?”
The story of God testing Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac gives us a classic response to calls from God: “Here I am!” More than a few songs have been written using these words and encouraging folks to respond like Abraham. Abraham proclaims these words three times in the Genesis story: twice because God calls out to him and once when Isaac calls to him. “Here I am!” exclaims Abraham.
Essentially, Abraham appears to be making himself available. God calls out, “Whoop, whoop!” Abraham hollers back, “I’m coming!”
Hearing God’s call was Abraham’s first act. Making himself available was his second. And make no mistake that these were two of the hardest things Abraham had ever done because both hearing and being available meant the loss of his son, Isaac.
God calls to each of us everyday. Sone of those calls may be as terrifying as the one to sacrifice Isaac. Others are no more serious than a family dinner call. The questions for us are:
Are we listening? And will we make ourselves available no matter what the cost appears to be?
The good news of Abraham and Isaac’s story is that no matter what the cost seems to be, God will provide a way when there seems to be none. We just have to be available.
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