Genesis 12:2 “I will bless you and make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing.”

Observation: The context of this and surrounding verses is part of the Abrahamic Covenant, in which God promises unilaterally to cause a great nation to arise from Abraham’s lineage. God is saying he will bring uncountable numbers of offspring from Abraham, and that he would personally receive blessing from God and honor from those touched by his life. Abraham’s name, God says, would be made great, and he would be a blessing.

Application: What serendipity, to be chosen for such an outpouring of good fortune from God, to be selected as the vessel for the Godhead to use in such singular ways. Talk about being in the right place at the right time; was there ever a man more fortunate than Abram?

Is this how I am to view this patriarch of the faith? Is he simply an ordinary man made extraordinary because God’s favor happened to land on him? Absolutely not! While each of these attributes was true, the great message of the Gospel is that I, too, carry similar blessing, similar promise. Abram was not merely a uniquely favored man who is to be viewed antiseptically as though he were a musty museum piece. Instead, I should see him as a model for what can be done in any man or woman breathed upon by God. Galatians 3:29 makes it clear: If I am baptized into Christ, then I become heir to everything God promised to Abraham.

Recently I attended the memorial for Mary, a dear friend whose children and grandchildren rose to bless her memory for leading them to Christ. Friends and family testified to her ready witness, to her faithfulness as a loving wife, and to her generous spirit. I wonder…is her memory any less honored than Abram’s? Of course not. Her offspring may not be as numerous as his…at least not yet…but her life pointed as surely to God as could anyone having feet of clay planted firmly upon the Rock.

It would be easier, perhaps, to think of Abram as uniquely positioned to impact the world, but far less satisfying. The reality of my calling is that I, too, can do whatever God wants to do through me. Both Abram and Mary were available. Like them, there is a ‘yes’ in my heart. I have no idea where this may lead, but even though the summer of my life may be behind me, God has not run short of purpose and calling. As I lean on His direction and draw energy from His endless reservoir, then I, too, can be a blessing. What more could I want?

Prayer: Father, cause my life to be a constant pointer back to you. Direct me on the path you want me to walk. Give me understanding and energy to be responsive to your call. Make me a blessing, Lord, as you did with Abram and with my friend Mary. In Jesus’ name.