Here I am, Lord

A few years ago I went on a retreat for college students (though I was in high school at the time). The theme of the retreat was Here I Am and during Adoration everyone, after much prayer, received a bible verse that either said, “Here I am,” or at least dealt with answering God and doing His will. Before this retreat I had been struggling a lot with discerning my vocation and “figuring out” God’s plan for my life. When I received my bible passage, I expected (and hoped and prayed) that it would give me the answers I was so desperately looking for. The passage I received was this (It’s long, I know):

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill[a] his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

When I read this passage, my heart dropped. I did not see how this passage pertained to my life in any way and felt more discouraged than ever. I read the passage over and over hoping for some kind of hidden message, before giving up. Over the next few years I continued to discern God’s will and follow wherever He would lead me. God called out to me and opened many doors, showing me where to go. But He also closed many doors that I wanted opened. One door that He led me through was to the college that I am currently attending. However, this was not in my original plans and one morning I sat outside with my bible and began to pray about why God was leading me here and why He wasn’t leading me in the direction that I really wanted to go. I opened my bible and felt that I should read the passage about Abraham and Isaac. When I read it I was suddenly reminded of that retreat I went on years ago and how confused I was at receiving this passage. Only now I wasn’t confused, because now it made perfect sense.

Abraham trusted God even when he was told to kill his son. He always responded with, “here I am,” and went where God led him. I may not know God’s plan for my life, but I trust Him. He has always been faithful and good to me, He has always opened doors where I was meant to go and closed doors where I wasn’t. I may not understand why, but just as Abraham didn’t understand, I will trust that the reason is for my good and salvation.

When God calls me I will respond, “Here I am, Lord,” I will run to Him and follow Him even if I don’t know where He is leading me. And in the story of Abraham and Isaac, God calls to Abraham and leads him one step at a time. He does not reveal the whole plan at once, but continually calls to Abraham with each step, and Abraham responds in faith each time. God has lead me to where I am now and I didn’t know where I was going along the way nor do I know where I am going next, but in faith I will follow the God of Abraham who loves me and has great plans for me. I trust Him with all my heart.

Here I am,Lord. I have come to do your will.

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