It's a difficult story to read. I've been familiar with it for years, heard much teaching from it, gleaned numerous principles from it, and know how it turns out... but it's still difficult to read.
A few years ago the kids and I began listening through The Bible in Living Sound cd's. As hard as the account of Abraham's test is to read, it's even harder to listen to, even as dramatized for children. One thing that struck me as we listened to the way it was dramatized was how Abraham called out to God as he took the knife to do as God had commanded him. He began to do something that He totally didn't understand. As he prepared to obey God, he was crying out loudly to Him. I can imagine that this is pretty accurate. Surely he couldn't have silently carried out something so unthinkable. Even in the midst of his outcry, though, he heard God's voice once again as He said, "Abraham, Abraham!" and stopped him.
The initial call to go to Mt. Moriah began with God saying, "Abraham!" (Gen. 22:1)
When God spoke to him in the midst of the sacrifice on the mountain it was, "Abraham! Abraham!" (22:11) Perhaps God had to say it twice to be heard over his (and maybe even Isaac's) cries.
It was critical for Abraham to hear God the first time, but it was crucial that he heard Him the second time.
What I learn from this is that as I carry out that which I believe God has directed me to do, both the difficult things as well as the things that bring me great joy, I must stay attentive to His voice. Just as He initially prompted me to do something, He will continue direct me, further refining His plans as they are carried out in my life. He may even change my course entirely!
I don't want to miss it. It's crucial that I hear Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.