I’ve just been to my mailbox and what I find there causes me to flash back to my childhood.
I find myself sitting in a tiny little chair in a big dark room. Some lights are on, but the walls are a dark wood and the floor is covered in dark brown carpet with lighter brown stripes. It is time for chapel at the Christian elementary school I attend and I can’t help but squirm in my little chair and giggle with my friends as our teacher tries to shush us.
But then the music starts. I can’t sing worth a lick, but as the others start singing, my off-tune little voice joins in as I belt out the words to one of my favorite songs, “Jehovah-Jireh.”
I make sure the bigger kids sitting behind me are singing louder than I am, and get lost in the lyrics. I take comfort in the words and know that everything is going to be okay because God is my provider and He cares for me.
I snap out of my flashback as the words to “Jehovah-Jireh” continue to run through my mind. I set the bill that just came in the mail on my kitchen counter, grab my car keys, and say a prayer as I head to work. I don’t yet know how God will provide, but I know that He will.
Even knowing that, it’s easy to let the fear and the worry creep in. As I drive to work I remind myself of all of the other times God has provided for my needs. I smile as I remember the time someone I had just met gave me a check for the exact amount of money I had to pay in rent that night – money I didn’t have and didn’t know how I was going to get.
God has provided for me more times that I can recall. He seems to enjoy coming through at the very last moment and saving the day. I think He does it this way so there is no doubt in my mind that He is the one who has provided, but don’t just take my word for it. God’s Word is filled with stories of His provision. “Jehovah-Jireh,” the name of the song from my childhood, is also a Name of God. We find it in the book of Genesis when God tested Abraham.
God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. God wanted to see if Abraham would withhold the one thing he loved most in the world or if he would surrender his son to God. Hebrews 11:17-19 (ESV) gives us a glimpse into Abraham’s thoughts during this difficult test.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back
God did indeed spare Isaac. Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar to the Lord. He took the knife in his hand but an angel of the Lord stopped him. Genesis 22:11-12 (NASB) says, “…the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’”
God came through at the very last moment and saved the day. He not only saved Isaac, He provided a substitute sacrifice so that Abraham and Isaac could worship Him together. Genesis 22:13-14 says:
Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.
This isn’t just about Abraham and Isaac; it’s about all of us. Isaac is a picture of Jesus. Just like God provided a ram to save Isaac, He also provided His Son Jesus to save all of humanity. Jesus died in our place, to save us.
God is in the business of saving people. It’s what He does. It’s what He’s all about. He saves us and He provides for us because He loves us.
No matter what trial you are facing right now, know that God knows. Allow it to make you more like Jesus. Use it to develop perseverance and patience. Keep trusting, no matter what!
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” ~ Luke 12:31-32 (NLT)