God keeps laying this story on my heart and I felt like it was important to share. The story of Abraham (the father) and Isaac (the son) always struck me as absurd when I read it in the Bible. After all, Isaac was the much anticipated, cherished, adored...ONLY son of Sarah and Abraham. As a parent the story makes me cringe inside. It makes my skin crawl with discomfort thinking that God would request something of Abraham that was so unbelievably hard. To sacrifice his one and only love. To lay down the life of someone who is your flesh and blood....your joy.... your wellspring of life. I cannot imagine the pain Abraham felt in his soul, yet he was so faithful. He realized that Isaac belonged to God, not him. He was on loan. God created Isaac and with His swift justice could take him away. Or worse, have Abraham do it.
The Sacrifice of Isaac
22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy  will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”;  as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” 
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his  enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
I love how Abraham says "Here am I" to the Lord. He woke after a sleepless night ... a night of daggars to the heart. Saddled his donkey and set off. Holding his pain inside from others. Lovingly ushering his son toward certain death - by his own hands. Just as Abraham is about to fulfill God's command something amazing happens... "But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” .... I KNOW THAT YOU FEAR GOD. That was the lesson here. God had already known the future of Abraham and Isaac. He knew that day would not include the death of Abraham's son. He wanted Abraham to experience the "fear" of God.
This story girds me with strength and fear equally. Strength in understanding that God owns my daughter. Not just owns, he breathed her into existence. Perfectly knowing every facet of her. Perfectly knowing every ability I possess to take care of her. Fear because I am so weak. Every little bump in life seems like a giant mountain and I easily slip. It feels hard sometimes to constantly be climbing to attain something I cannot ever really reach. The peak. The top. The place wear it's "easy"-- the "grass is greener". The fact is, God is glorified in our weakness. He is more clearly seen and experienced when we are falling down the mountain, getting cuts and bruises.
So, by no means do I desire to walk in Abraham's shoes. I do however appreciate the way God reminds us that we do not "own" those we love. He does. And I am thankful.