He knew the frustration of fear. He knew the anguish of sacrifice. Yet he ended his life satisfied and content
These are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. (Genesis 25:7–8 NASB)
What could be a better obituary than to read a person died at a good old age and lived a full and satisfied life?
What does it mean to be satisfied with life? To enjoy the journey? To have no regrets? To let go of the things that would cause remorse?
Abraham’s life was not easy. He spent most of his life without a place to call home. He knew the pain of loss. He knew the impatience of waiting. He knew the disappointment of personal failure. He knew the frustration of fear. He knew the anguish of sacrifice. Yet he ended his life satisfied and content. He was far from perfect, but he left a legacy of faith because he learned to live by faith. He learned something you and I can learn as we journey through life.
In studying the life of Abraham and his journey with God, it is easy to be impressed with his obedience and his sense of adventure, but I am most impressed with the role God played in the journey. God was the one who always initiated, helped, and waited.1 He revealed himself step by step as Abraham traveled. Through the relationship Abraham was invited to have with God, all nations of the world would be blessed as they were shown what God was like.2 Abraham’s satisfaction was not in the life he lived, but in the God he served.
A military survey recently reported that Army spouses are increasingly satisfied with their way of life, supportive of their soldiers’ careers, and generally coping better with deployments. In fact, they want to stay in the Army more than their soldier spouses.3 There is never a way to know if a survey like this represents the opinion of an entire group. I do know, however, that when it comes time to depart this life, our satisfaction will not be based on a husband’s rank, a retirement home, or money in the bank. Satisfaction, at that point, will come when, like Abraham, we know our relationship with the Lord is established and sure.
How satisfied are you with military life? How does your relationship with God affect your overall satisfaction with life?
Prayer for the Journey
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11) Amen.
1 Paul Borgman, Genesis: The Story We Haven’t Heard (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 38.
2 John H. Walton, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 402.
3 Karen Jowers, “Suvey: More Spouses Satisfied with Army Life.” http://www.armytimes.com/article/20110307/NEWS/103070335/Survey-More-spouses-satisfied-Army-life (accessed February 21, 2014).