God tells Abram to leave all that is familiar, family, friends, land. And right after this command/request/whatever you want to call it, God says, "I will bless you."
I don't know about you, but if God was asking me to pick up and move everything I own, everything I've ever known, I would have a few questions. Like, "when are You going to bless me, God? When I get to where I'm going? On the way? Before I die? And where exactly am I supposed to go? If I don't go to the right place, will You still bless me?"
Notice those questions all involve me. What happens to me? (It's called selfishness) Not focusing on the second part of God's statement at all. "You will be a blessing to others."
The blessing comes in, but it isn't supposed to just stay with us. It needs to go out, be poured out for others. I struggle with this. It is so much easier for me to get than to give. I know it, I recognize it, and yet it is so hard to unclench my fists around those blessings. To let spill what I have received and been nourished with so that others can receive and be refreshed too.
Like the rich young man in Mark 10: 17-31. I wonder what unimaginable blessing awaited him on the other side of letting go of all his possessions? I'm not saying that everyone needs to give up all their possessions, it can be other things standing in the way.
For me it's control. What would it look like if I gave up control of all these things that I grasp in my hands? My dreams, my desires, my worship, my fear in relationships. As long as I hold on to them in my closed hands, I cannot receive, with wide open hands, the much greater blessings that God has for me.
I love love love the quote from D. L. Moody that Ann writes for us in her book:
"Faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breathe it; so is bread, but you have to eat it; so is water, but you have to drink it" (p.41, The Greatest Gift)