Even though…it’s my new favorite phrase. When used as a conjunction, it strongly emphasizes the contrast between the two connecting phrases.
My study last week revolved around the life, calling and promise of Abraham. He was called to go to a new land and then given the blessing of being the conduit of God’s blessing to all the people on earth. You can read more about his call and blessing here. I couldn’t help but ponder Abraham’s ready-obedient response in Genesis 12:4 which reads-“So Abram left…” My mind wrestled with how I respond with resistance when things don’t make sense and here was an older man getting on board when the pieces of his calling didn’t fit.
Abraham’s story is mind-bending. He is supposed to be the father to many nations, but his wife is barren. That had to leave room for doubt and cynicism-along with a thousand other feelings. Yet, he believed and obeyed.
Skipping ahead in his story, Abraham’s wife Sarah becomes pregnant and gives birth to Isaac. In Genesis 22, Abraham is instructed to take Isaac and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. For. Real. Once again, Abraham obeys and goes. I can’t even begin to imagine the mess his anguish (mixed with faith) made of his emotions. Binding his son and placing him on the altar, in obedience and faith, must have been one of the most torturous moments of his life. The look in Isaac’s eyes, met with concern he saw in his father’s eyes…
Because of this ready obedience of Abraham,with knife in hand, an Angel of the Lord calls out to him and instructs him to abandon the sacrifice. Instead, God provided a ram to use in place of Isaac. It comes as no surprise that the name of the mountain where Abraham took Isaac means, “The Lord Will Provide.”
This story is what dreams and novels are made of…filled with inexplicable obedience and strength, and mirrored with equally inexplicable blessing. But, you can’t study Abraham in Genesis without flipping to Hebrews 11–and reading “the rest of the story.” Hebrews 11:8-11 reads:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
My new favorite phrase…even though. I’m not sure how I missed this phrase before. Afterall, Psalms 23-which I’ve read countless times-also contains this phrase…
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (verse 4)
It won’t surprise you to learn that the phrase “even though” exists in many passages…but it’s alive in a new way in my spirit! Abraham acted in obedience even though he didn’t know where he was going. Questions and curiosity undoubtedly filled his mind. He didn’t have the benefit of GPS, or even an ancient blueprint of where he would end up.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also waited 25 years to see the promise of an heir. I struggle waiting 25 minutes for a returned phone call, or text message. I can’t even imagine the stamina he showed in the waiting. In the face of it all, he kept walking-kept putting one foot in front of the other, and waited expectantly. He believed. He believed even though the isolated, individual pieces didn’t fit.
I have many even thoughs in my life. Do you? I’m choosing joy even though my heart is heavy and my longings are strong. I’m committed to my husband even though we don’t always see eye to eye. I’m praying and believing even though I can’t physically touch the God I love. I’m learning to walk in vulnerability even though I’m terrified.
I feel like God is at work in the “even thoughs” of our lives…or at least it’s where He wants to do work–if we are willing. Our doubts and fears, insecurities and questions are wrapped into the even thoughs of life.
One of mine sounds like this…
By faith Alyssa, when walking in friendship, opens up and shares her heart, even though the possibility of hurt is present.
This is glorious and messy. It’s the intersection of anguish and hope. Even though is where our faith is built up and put to the test. I love that the phrase is also evidence of His unfailing love.
What is your “even though” in life? I’d love for you to share it because it brings such hope to the rest of us, and it’s one way of encouraging each other in community.
Go ahead–share your heart, struggle and/or faith–even though you might not want to!
Linking up here today…