Early every morning, the local muezzin begins his call, asking all those who hear him to pray. I’ve lived here long enough now, that it doesn’t usually wake me up anymore. However, this morning was a little different. The call was markedly louder than usual and the usual muezzin was replaced by someone very talented in his singing/chanting. Today marks the day thousands of sheep will lose their lives as local Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice and the end of the hajj to Mecca. Some have fasted the day before, believing that doing so will absolve them from the sins of the past year.
This morning as I laid in bed as the first rays of dawn broke and listening to the first of two morning calls, I, too, began thinking of God’s request of Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar and of Abraham’s willingness to do so. I slowly rose from bed so as not to wake my sleeping husband and silently walked to our guest room, the room I designated as my prayer room. I read Genesis 22, the story of Abraham’s testing in the Bible. I began thinking about what this means for my life, here in the Middle East. So many talk about my life being full of sacrifices, but in reality, my life is quite nice. But, I know I must lay my dreams, my hopes on the altar of God as a sacrifice and allow him to take them to make them into what he desires. A difficult thing for me to do with the meager dreams I have, I can only begin to imagine what that must have been like to Abraham with his son. But I commit again to giving all my hopes and dreams to the Sovereign God knowing that he is faithful to see his purposes fulfilled.