On Sunday, the Book of Hebrews told Catholics that Abraham trusted and obeyed God regarding leaving his home, bearing children and sacrificing Isaac. As described in Hebrews, “By faith Abraham obeyed ... not knowing where he was to go” with regards to travel, “By faith” he was able “to generate” despite his age and that of Sarah, and “By faith” Abraham “offered up Isaac” because “He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead…”

I found this reading quite exciting. The challenges of married, professional and homeowner life have been stressful lately. Finding three solid reminders to trust God – especially spread over the long period of time between Abraham’s travels and his sacrifice of Isaac – was an excellent provider.

On the way home from church, I tried to lead a discussion about the reading. I was bursting to share this thrice-trusting point. And then my wife pointed out that while Abraham did trust God many times, he had also not trusted when it came to intercourse with his slave, Hagar.

BeliefNet.com points out that Abraham had distrusted God at least twice. Both were related to having children at his late age. The first time, Sarah and Abraham laughed when God said she would bear a child. The second time, Sarah and Abraham decided that bearing a child through their slave Hagar would fulfill of God’s promise of a child to Abraham.

 

Humanity’s Norm

It is said that pride is the root of all sin. In fact, the root of all sin is a lack of trust in God – often shown in pride, the assumption that one knows better than God.

Abraham may have been the father of Judaism, but he was hardly the first to distrust God. Like Adam and Eve, Abraham spoke directly with God. Like Adam and Eve, he literally had a one-on-one friendship with the Creator of the Universe.

And like Adam, Eve, Moses, Peter, Judas and others who has conversations with God – Abraham didn’t trust Him to provide.

The good part about all of this is that God does His best to open us up to His Grace. David committed murder; God forgave him. Peter abandoned Jesus; he was the first pope.

To paraphrase “Searching for and Maintaining Peace,” having a humble relationship with God should be our first and foremost goal in life. We will fail. We will falter. But rather than letting those lapses become our norm, and letting pride lead to self-condemnation, I need to be as humble as Abraham and let God always be there to provide.