We’re preparing for company and my son loves company.
He is a host extraordinaire. At the first mention of upcoming visitors, he cleans up his room and then grabs Clorox wipes, the broom, and wood polish and heads for the kitchen.
But he’s a five-year-old who loves to entertain guests, and he has mastered some basic essentials of hospitality: create a clean space, set out games, and provide snacks. What more could you need?
When I told him last night that we’d be having company this weekend, I should have been prepared for an early morning wake-up from this boy who needed to clean his room right this second.
Yes, it’s 7:30 in the morning and we’re still getting kids ready for school and yes, mom would like some time with a cup of tea first. But his room was messy and the company was imminent (as in arriving in the next 48 hours). He does not want to be unprepared for his guests.
There’s a beautiful moment in Scripture when Abraham shows a similar attentive hospitality. Genesis 18 says three strangers came by and that:
The LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1 CSB).
Not just a guest, an unexpected divine guest.
I’d probably lock the door for a few minutes and toss dirty dishes into the oven, clean clothes back into the dryer, and paper piles into closets before actually welcoming a surprise stranger.
But Abraham is so gracious, so inviting. He brings water for their feet and leads them to a place of rest under the shade of a tree. He asks Sarah to bake bread, prepares a meal , and then serves them a picnic feast of fine foods.
He makes the most of this moment with the Lord. He is hospitable and attentive. He is not rushed or stressed about all he isn’t getting done.
The Lord simply appeared. And Abraham invited Him in.
What needs to change in me so I can be more hospitable to the Holy Spirit? More attentive and considerate of His presence? More responsive and inviting? More willing to sit and fellowship with Him?
I consider the challenge of this because sometimes you sit down for a quiet time, and the Lord feels….quiet. You read. You pray. You copy down the verse. And then you are done.
But other days you sit down for some time with Jesus and He invites you to linger because His presence is so strong. So you have to choose. Do we rush Him along or settle in at His feet?
Abraham chose to welcome the visitor.
His son Isaac did even more.
Yes, Abraham had set up camp and the LORD came to Him, arriving without invitation or planning or pursuit on Abraham’s part
But Isaac purposely set out to dwell in the Lord’s presence, making not just a one-time visit, but a long-term decision to abide..
After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 25:11 ESV).
Beer-lahai-roi–that ‘s “the well of him that liveth and seeth me.” That’s where God called out to Hagar in the wilderness and He rescued her son by providing this same well to quench Ishmael’s thirst. Hagar called Him the “God who sees me” and the “One who looks after me. “Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi” (Genesis 16:14 ESV).
Hagar’s time there was temporary, but Spurgeon writes:
“Isaac….settled there and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply….Let us too learn to live in the presence of the living God….Happy is the person who lives at the well, with abundant and constant supplies near at hand” (Morning and Evening).
Of all the places Isaac could have brought his family and made his home, he chooses this holy place, this sacred site, and he settles in.
Could this be me?
Could I be like Abraham, ready, yielded, excited even by the Lord’s visits? Am I prepared? Am I ready to clean rooms, make meals, and rest under a shade tree all in God’s presence simply because He showed up and I want t o be with Him?
But could I also be like Isaac, seeking out this same presence day by day? Choosing to settle near the well of God’s supply, dwelling with Him and in Him, knowing that this well of His presence will not and will never run dry?
And that’s the best part. On days when Isaac felt weary, dry, worn out, stretched thin, stressed, or just had the blahs, he could go to the well and drink deeply from the well, dipping the cool water over and over if needed, all because he lived day in and day out by the well of His presence.