Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Get Stuck in Haran!

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.

1 comment:

  1. Greg,

    While there are many things in life that can create an environment for us to get stuck in a rut, perhaps none is so easy to do this in as grief over the death of one of your offspring, be they child or adult. None of us can blame Terah for his grieving, but he obviously chose not to seek the God of Abram for his comfort (see Joshua 24:2).

    We are in such a wonderful position to derive our source of strength and comfort from the True and Living God when we go through life's pressures, no matter how much "weight" they produce upon us! Isaiah says that our Lord Jesus "...carried our griefs and pains..." Just exactly what this looks like in each of our lives is determined by the uniqueness of our circumstances. But the promise of only experiencing "pre-borne" or "pre-carried" griefs in our life can be of great comfort in the heat of the pain.