I’ve been talking to friend who is suffering the consequences of a mistake she made. And another who is currently suffering the death of a loved one. Though it's true they are suffering for different reasons—still, both are grieving a loss. And if not careful, they will get stuck in their pain.
The story of Abraham’s father Terah gives us a picture of a man who could not move beyond his disappointment. Terah had three sons, Abram the oldest. The Genesis narrative says Abraham’s younger brother “Haran died in the presence of his father” (11:28). Then we read that after Terah left Ur with Abram’s family for Canaan, they traveled through a city with the same name as his deceased son, Haran. The story does not explain why, but “Terah went as far as Haran, and settled,” remaining there until he died (11:31).
Is the parallel play-on-words coincidental? Is the writer of the story using this event to reveal an important truth about our journey to Canaan? Was Haran unable to progress beyond his disappointment and pain—Haran’s death? While I don’t want to impose “hidden” meanings on the text, is it not true that wounded people tend to get stuck in their pain? And it is exactly at this point we will live or die (spiritually). Are you distressed by some loss in your life? Feeling stuck? Don’t let that feeling control you. Choose faith over feelings. Don’t stop short! Rise up! Continue on the journey to your Canaan.