We often speak of having the faith of Abram in which he was willing to pick up his life, follow God into an unknown future and unknown land and trust that God would provide. What we seldom say is that Sarai must have had a remarkable faith as well! The scripture records the first leap of faith this way:
Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan.
What isn’t written in these words are the many conversations between Abram and Sarai, between Abram and the rest of his family. Deep in the annals of history, there must have been conversations about walking away from the known and leaping into the unknown. Did Abraham doubt? Was Sarai the one speaking faith into him? Was she able to calm his fears with just her presence and assurance?
Her name, Sarai, means ‘my princess.’ For Abram, was she the rock that made him look so faithful and good? A saying in the Jewish Midrash was that Abram converted the men, and Sarai the women. She was a beacon of God to the women who followed them to the desert and showed the way of love and grace. In another part of the Talmud, it is said that she had a tent in which people flocked to receive her hospitality and learn from her. The history beyond our text reveals that Sarai wasn’t just a passive participant in Abram’s story but an integral part of it! Yes, this is true of all of us. None of us are passive participants in God’s great story; rather, we are all active, as God uses each to be a part of this beautiful creation!