He was 75 years old when the call came to leave everything he had known and follow the guidance of an invisible God to a place he did not know, which would become his inheritance. He was to take his barren wife with him, and somehow, though they were both already old, he would be the father of a great nation. And through this absurd choice, which shocked his friends and acquaintances into scornful laughter, he would somehow become a source of blessing to all the nations of the earth (what did that even mean?). And so the old man packed up his whole life and stepped forward into impossibility. By faith he allowed his whole world to be turned upside down. And when, after the long hard years of waiting, the child of promise was born to them, he was willing, at the command of that same God, to lay down the life of that child, though every promise he had been given was dependent on that child’s life. Where did he find the strength? His eyes were fixed on another kingdom, a kingdom which could never fail, whose builder and maker was the Lord.
Another time, another place, another man. This one was eighty years old, and his life had become a bitter story of failure. It had all started so well, with his life miraculously spared and his adoption into the royal family of the very nation that had enslaved and mistreated his people. But in a moment of fierce anger he had acted impetuously and thrown all his advantages away. The last forty years had been spent herding the flocks in a forgotten corner of the desert. But now he was summoned by a miraculous sign to return to the very place he had fled, to face down the royal power in its stronghold, and demand freedom for his people> He did not even believe himself a fluent speaker, yet he was called to declare the impossible before a king. Where did he find the strength? His eyes were fixed on another kingdom, a kingdom which could never fail, whose maker and builder was the Lord.