In the Shadow of the Cloud: Abraham

by Wendie Connors

(Editor’s note: This is the 3rd post in a series through Hebrews 11 called “In the Shadow of the Cloud.” We will be exploring what we can learn from those mentioned in this clouds of witnesses section.)

Abraham, Hebrews 11, Hall of Faith, Wendie ConnorsRecently, I saw a movie that made my heart so happy! Finding Dory is Pixar’s latest (and oh-so-beautiful!) animated film, and it tells the story of a sweet angelfish trying to find her way “home”.

It’s a bit more difficult for Dory than it would be for most of the other fish because Dory has short-term memory issues. Each time she sets out on her journey, she forgets the directions or forgets her traveling companions. Sometimes, she even forgets the purpose of her trip. She gets frustrated and lost, not to mention she finds herself in a few perilous jams along the way. But the one thing that keeps her focused and on course is a mantra she sings to herself whenever things don’t seem to make sense:

“Just keep swimming!” 

When she gets lost, this mantra simply reminds her to keep the course, because staying the course means she completes the mission. She knows in her heart she has been called by the force of love to make the journey and to see it through, regardless of the housing conditions, her traveling companions, and the hard and seemingly impossible choices she has to make along the way.

On the surface, her journey seems crazy. But a deeper dive and sustained swimming alongside strangers and loved ones reveal the truth and purpose of her calling.

If Disney/Pixar had a “Hall of Faith,” I’m a believer that Dory would be the equivalent of Hebrews “Abraham” on that list!

Let’s be clear for a second: I’m not equating a fictional fish to a biblical hero to be funny or simple minded. I’m really just trying to show how universal Abraham’s story is to the human spirit. We all have a call. The question is: will we follow it, WILL WE SEE IT THROUGH, even when we don’t know where we are going or why? 

Because if we will, we’ll influence untold souls for Christ.

Abraham, called by God, traveled to unfamiliar places and stayed in unfamiliar lodgings without complaint or question or even an explanation of why he was doing it, and changed the course of human history through his faith.

Abraham influenced the people around him through faithfulness to a God that, on the surface, may have seemed pointless and, if we are honest, even cruel. But he didn’t question it. He had faith enough to know (and experience enough to fall back on) that our God is SO good and is a God of His word.

While Abraham’s story is told in the Old Testament, his right and faithful standing with God as told in Hebrews (Chapter 11) is where it speaks the loudest to me and begs me to question myself and my own willingness to walk out my call.

Would I, if called by God (especially when I didn’t know the outcome), faithfully embark on a journey to places unknown with no GPS and no Travelocity to guide me?

Would I, if called by God, step out in faith to speak my heart to strangers and even loved ones when the words sounded unsettling and even crazy?

Would I, when my mind spoke unfamiliar and scary words to my heart, be willing to sacrifice everything I had and all that I knew was lovely and safe and good in order to demonstrate my faith in the One who gave it all to me in the first place?

If I did, I’d be walking in the mind-blowing, gospel-witnessing footsteps of Abraham. Many of you have taken those steps and I stand in awe of your faithfulness. Thank you for being that modern-day example of faith. For those of us who still timidly stand on the shoreline, let me encourage us to an Abraham level of witnessing with this thought:

Just keep swimming. We don’t navigate these waters alone.

Wendie-ConnorsWendie Connors is founder of Stringing Pearls with Wendie, She is an author, blogger, and speaker, and loves nothing better than learning and teaching about Jesus, and how to weave scripture into each aspect of everyday life. Check outStringing Pearls on Facebook.