September 23, 2013

God provides

The advantage of looking at a verse or passage of Scripture for several days in succession is that God takes me deeper into it. In this story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith, God gives another insight  that I need.
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.” (Genesis 22:14)

After God provided a lamb as substitute for Isaac, Abraham christened the mountaintop by a name that proclaimed God’s deliverance. However, often after God answers prayer or takes care of my needs, I tell others more about the stress of the need, or what I did in obedience during the situation. In Abraham’s case, God told us about those things, but Abraham wasn’t’ concerned that they were remembered. He wanted generations to come to know what God had done.

In Christian circles, we sometimes talk about the many times we must march around the same mountain as a euphemism for reviewing the same lesson over and over before we finally get it. I wonder if we were quicker to speak of what God is doing rather than complaining about our slowness to learn, that we would eliminate some of that repetition?

In looking back at the severe situations of life, what do I remember the most? What did I write in my journal? What was the focus in my prayers? I’ve a bad habit, perhaps even a sinful habit, of giving far more attention to the negatives of life than praising God for the deliverances He has given me regarding those negatives. My rear-view mirror tends to reflect the memories of trials rather than the joy of the victories.

Abraham could say, “The Lord Will Provide” because “The Lord did provide.” He promises to take care of us and He does. Why is it so much easier to sit and whine than it is to jump and shout? God has never forsaken me. I’ve had times of feeling abandoned, but it was not His doing, but my own. Right now, I am struggling with temptations and the pressures of study amid many other responsibilities, but somehow He brings me through. Why then is it easier to speak of (complain about) the struggles than to say God is with me, helping me?

I have a friend who does it right. He happily talks about the goodness of God and makes light of whatever might be a need or problem. He knows God will provide and basks in that provision. I need to tear a page out of his book, imitating his example and also that of the patriarch, Abraham, by renaming my memories and affirming to my own heart that the Lord will provide — just as He has always done.

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