Leadership Lessons From Abram

BY CHAD LACKEY, BSF MEN’S INITIATIVE DIRECTOR

As I picked up the phone, I knew something was wrong. My wife was crying. The doctor had just pronounced our 2-year-old son profoundly deaf, a diagnosis that informed us of his inability to hear.  We had no perspective on how to process this diagnosis, just that the doctor said he would never effectively enter the hearing or deaf communities, and it was scary.

As a father, I did not want to admit it.  As a husband, I wanted to take away my wife’s fear and pain. As a man, I wanted to fix this! But in reality, I did not know what to do or how to proceed!

In Genesis 12, there is a story of a man, Abram, who was also dealt a serious blow. God called on Abram to move out of his city and into the promised land. He followed and God made some amazing promises to Abram – that his family would become many nations and bless the world! 

But as soon as he settled in the Negev, a severe famine hit the land and his people were all starving. I can imagine how badly he wanted to fix the situation. I think it’s clear he did not really know what to do next, either. 

As men, God has gifted us with the privilege of leadership in many areas of life, but nowhere more important than at home. When crisis hits, we default to problem-solving mode.  It goes like this: See the problem, see the solution, make a plan.

The question is, are you looking at the crisis from God’s point of view or your own? For me, there is often very little space between seeing the problem and solution and then making a plan. Abram’s story in chapter 12 gives us a painful example of what can happen when those decisions are based on my way and not God’s way.

Let’s learn from his story …

Abram was a man of action. When faced with this crisis, he solved it. Let me be clear – there is nothing wrong with solving problems. But like so many men, Abram did not leave much room between seeing, solving and acting to solve these problems. He did not pause to consult God, and, as a result, the outcome was painful. 

Abram’s first choice involved preserving his people. He decided to take his people to where the food was in Egypt. We do not see that he paused to pray or consult God. He just saw the problem, saw a solution and made the decision to take his people to Egypt. 

Abram’s second choice involved self-preservation. Out of fear for his life, he instructed his wife Sarai to tell the Egyptians she was his sister. Again, we do not see him pause to consult God.  Instead, he saw a problem (or a potential problem), decided he could fix it and made it happen. Abram prospered for a time.

But God, wanting Abram to learn, let his plan spiral out of control. Sarai ended up in Pharaoh’s palace as his wife. The truth came out when the Lord brought sickness to Pharaoh and his people, so Abram and his family got kicked out of Egypt. 

The question is, are you looking at the crisis from God’s point of view or your own?

When trying to understand why Abram did not consult God about these two decisions – especially given God’s unconditional promises to him earlier in the chapter – it brings me to a reality check.  Abram was a man who confronted his fears. In the face of that fear, he relied on himselfhis plan, his fixes and ultimately his failure – instead of God.  

God lovingly wanted Abram to learn, so He allowed Abram to faileven to the point that he was kicked out of the place he went for safety. (As a side note, we will see in the next chapter that Abram did not starve, and he ended up back at Bethel.)

Freedom In Surrender

God did, and still does, the same for me. Over the next several years, our family faced many difficult decisions. Who can help us know what to do next? How to communicate with our son? What school is best for him? Where should we live? How can we find a church with a deaf program? And many, many more.    

Many times, I was like Abram – see, solve, fix with little or no time in between. Other times, we asked God for wisdom and guidance. Through it all, God taught us to rely deeply on Him. One significant learning came when we decided to move to a different school district with a great deaf program for Joshua. We bought a house before we sold the previous one because we were sure it was God’s provision.

Abram was a man whose fears were confronted.  In the face of that fear, he relied on himself instead of God. 

After six months of depleted savings with double house payments, the day before I was supposed to start a second job, we sold the house!  The process of figuring out how to cover that decision was long, in-depth and painful. But I learned to rely deeply on God because He is the faithful Promise Keeper who loves me, my family and for sure my kids. 

Every man is taught to be proactive and control his circumstances. The reality is, we control very little.  If you face difficult circumstances or decisions, I encourage you to ask God for wisdom, and He will give it (James 1:5). Let’s change “see, solve, fix” to “see, pray, obey!” 

This afternoon, I am going to play golf with my son, the same child who was never supposed to engage optimally with the deaf or the hearing! Today, he is a senior engineering student and plays on the college golf team, not to mention the only deaf student at his college!  

The 18 years since that phone call have been a roller-coaster of trying our own way and relying on God.  Looking back, I see how much we have come to rely on God and to trust His plan. I am thankful for His long-suffering patience with me as I have endeavored to lead my family well! 

335 Comments

  1. how do I get info on Abtaham mini study? I am a BSF memer in reidsville, nc.

    Reply
    • Dear Ann,
      Visit: https://bsfblog.org/try-bsf/
      You can use this stud to invite a friend to study along with you!

      Reply
  2. Thank you. This is very helpful.

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  3. Thank you for sharing you testimony. We all need encouragement.

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  4. What a wonderful account of God’s graciousness and faithfulness!! Thanks for sharing

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  5. Glory be to God. May God always bless your family. Your story reminds me and encourages me to trust God who is always faithful. Your story encourages me to ask God for guidance and wisdom, thank you for sharing.

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  6. Thank you for telling your story. It is very encouraging. God really does work all things together for good for those who love Him.

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  7. Like the see,pray obey …..learn to consult God in all things be it small or big

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    • I want so much to rely on God for a issue in my life. Help me to trust in the abounding provision of our God.

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      • Dear Maisie,
        Your comment made me think of the scripture, “I believe. Help my unbelief.” I have been there often. We know the truth about God, but sometimes struggle to live out what we know. I live in Beijing and was unable to teach during the spring semester and only had a few students who were willing to do online tutoring. One of my flatmates graduated and left in September and my other flatmate was unable to renew her visa and was going to have to leave the country last Friday. How was I going to pay for a 3 bedroom flat by myself since no one is able to come into the country right now and everyone already has housing? Well, we know I wasn’t going to be the one “paying”, right? God kept reminding me of his unlimited ability to provide for me. So, last Weds, my flatmate went to the exit/entry bureau yet again, and PTL, the officials looked at all her paperwork, made suggestions, allowed her another 30 days to get everything in order. Then, I had paid the rent for December and my landlady said she was giving me a free month and that would count for January! I don’t know what the current issue is that you are wrestling with, but I am praying that you have the faith to trust God and the wisdom and discernment to know how to move forward in hope. In Christ, Ronda

        Reply
  8. This was a very encouraging story that has come at a difficult time in my personal life. Thank you for sharing and helping me to deepen my faith and trust in God.

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  9. Chad Lackey, thank you for sharing your story. As a retired teacher for deaf and hard of hearing children it blesses me. God bless you and your family for your persistence in seeking the best for your son and the intense work that it has taken all these years. God bless your son for all the hard work he has done. May God’s richest blessing be yours.

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  10. Dear Chad,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Growing up with four brothers, I appreciate your description of how a man’s “fix it” strategy works. I also appreciate your idea of changing “see, solve,fix” to “see, pray, obey” !!! I will share this post with my husband, Ray. I know it will be a huge refocus and help as we look to our great God in navigating through our current struggles within our own family of four adult sons. Your story has provided living hope and encouragment ! We rest in the One who is” able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20 Thank you, this post has buoyed our faith and anchored our souls .

    Reply
  11. Praise the Lord. What an encouragement. Thank you for sharing. Surely our trust is in God alone.

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  12. The text has really helped me
    By changing the way I respond to crisis, as Abraham I have been trying to fix almost everything without asking God

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  13. Amazing Story! I was born hard of hearing. My hearing problem was not caught until the age of 10. I was way behind in school. Everyone thought I was just “slow.” Later, at the age of 36, I had Meningitis. I lost whatever hearing I had. I learned ASL. It took me at least 3 years to understand the language and another 30 years of being accepted into the Deaf community. I still do not understand full English nor full ASL, but I do know I hear God and try to be a good leader in the Women’s Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) I am learning to trust God in all that I do.

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    • Linda, I’m so inspired by your perseverance and heart for the Lord! Thankful for your continued service in BSf. Praying for your group!

      Reply
  14. TP Tried and Proved- That God is a promiser keeper !!

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  15. So encouraging
    Help me my Lord to put all my trust only in You and to feel better when I don’t know what to do and when I’m scared or sad please my Lord without You I can’t do nothing Amen .

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  16. So touched by your story.
    Now ask God to help me recall
    His provision

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  17. Your courage to share your personal struggle has been an encouragement to many people like experiencing our share of struggles.

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  18. I am extremely encouraged by your son’s story and the need to deeply depend on God.

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  19. Very encouraging,whatever the circumstances I must deeply rely on God.

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  20. I can identify with your real life story which I am reading on a sleepless night. The saving grace is knowing that God’s love for me endures and his faithfulness is renewed by the day. Thank you for sharing. I am comforted and blessed.

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  21. Thank you. So encouraging.

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  22. Great article. Thanks for sharing, and thankful for the amazing progress your son has made. God is so good and nothing surprises Him. His plan is always good.

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    • Thank U Chad for sharing your personal/family struggles.
      Again God confirms His gracious faithfulness as Savior, guide and
      merciful presence in our lives! Oh God, help me seek you every day – all day – during every moment of each day.

      Reply
  23. From Abram’s example, I have learnt that choosing my own way is defiant and dislike to God’s appointed position for me. It is outright disobedience. I am trusting to leave decisions up to Him, especially as the head of my family.

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  24. I love, love, love this. We have been blessed to get to know your family over the past years. What an amazing story.

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  25. God is truly faithful. Thank you for sharing. This encourages me to always pray in all situations

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    • It is wonderful to learn how important it is to ask God for all we need. Even sometimes to fix things or find things.I am blessed by these study’s thank YOU so much.

      Reply
  26. Thank you so much for sharing! How forgetful we are and how faithful God is. I got a very precious lesson to live out from your testimony, SEE, PAUSE TO CONSULT GOD, TRUST and OBEY.

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  27. What a beautifuIl story! Thank you for sharing.
    I went to high school In California with a student named Chad Lacky. Blessings to your family.

    Reply
  28. Thank you for sharing your real life story! From are, solve, fix to see, pray, and obey…. is such a timely focus. We are moving to a new town, no permanent home in a bustling city- full of competition for the homes that are hear. I pray now for Gods wisdom and still quiet voice, to calm my fears and know that He is God and in His time, the right home will be found. Bless you!

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  29. Thank you for sharing your testimony of faith. It came at a time when I needed it most.

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  30. Awesome! Wha a revealation!
    Thanks

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  31. What a wonderful testimony about your son. It proves God is in control and we should trust Him totally.
    From today on I will try to see, pray, obey as opposed to see, solve, fix. Asante sana (thank you very much) for sharing

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  32. Are you looking at the crisis for God’s point of view or your own? This is very revolutionary. Thanks al to for this reminder

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  33. See, pray, obey. That God would help me to function this way! Often I find myself praying after making a mess of things and then turning to God to clean my mess yet He is ever so gracious to continue loving me. Everyday is a learning experience for me as I grow closer to Christ Jesus, from faith to faith, glory to glory.

    Reply
  34. Praise the Lord for His yoke is light when we trust Him wholly. Thanks for this lovely conviction brother in Christ and allows me to understand Abram’s faithfulness better and instead of “see, solve & fix” I have to shift my paradigm to “see, PRAY & OBEY”. Thanks for sharing such good news. God bless you and your family.

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  35. That was a heart stirring testimony, I will remember this.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring and a powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness when we put our trust in Him. I am encouraged and challenged to ‘ see, pray and ibey’ instead of rushing out to do things in my own way. God richly bless you and your family

      Reply

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