Sunday night our youth pastor asked me to bring a DVD teaching series that I own to youth group. I was some distance away at work and was already going to be late, but offered to stop by my house to pick it up anyway. It would only add a minute or two or so I thought. What turned into a quick grab and go, became a frantic turning over the tables Jesus in the temple style, looking for a DVD.
If there is one thing I hate, it’s being late. If there are two things I hate, it’s being late and not having the right thing. I left the house empty handed and not looking forward to having to explain my shortcomings. These DVDs contained an incredible message and brilliant illustrations of God’s love and some teenager needed to hear them, but now wouldn’t. Their eternal destination was practically in my hands and I ruined it!
Obviously I am exaggerating here, but the truth is that’s not too far off from how I felt. I put a lot of pressure on myself to save the day.
It reminded me of a bible story. Do you remember when Abraham tried to save the day?
When God promises Abraham that he will have many descendants, Abraham has this to say;
“Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Genesis 15:2
From a human perspective, Abraham’s response makes sense. He’s very old and has no descendants to pass along this supposed inheritance to. Abraham doubts God’s promises so much that when his wife Sarah gets tired of waiting and suggests that he sleeps with their servant in order to have a son, he willingly does so.
He decided to take things into his own hands and come up with his own strategy to save the day. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work out as well as God’s.
In His timing, (Abraham was 100 years old!) God provides Abraham with a son, Isaac, through Sarah whose lineage He chooses to continue leading up to Jesus. Isaac’s very name, which means “He Laughs” reminds us of Abraham and Sarah’s doubt in God’s ability to bring about His promises despite their situation.
Sometime later, God puts Abraham to the test and asks him to sacrifice Isaac. It’s a huge test. It tests Abraham’s trust in God’s ability to provide, to follow through on His promises. Well, something has certainly changed with Abraham. He doesn’t argue with God or question His orders. Instead he gathers the wood and his son and takes him to be sacrificed. He only says one thing to his son when Isaac asks what they were sacrificing, “The Lord will provide the sacrifice.” Genesis 22:8
Indeed, God did and we see a new name Jehovah-Jireh or “The Lord Will Provide” the name Abraham gave to that mountain. Abraham went from laughing to knowing that the Lord Will Provide. He started to look at God instead of himself.
I never found the DVD in time so we had to watch another movie. Of course, it turned out to be better than anything I had planned. How silly I was to think that everything rested on me and that without me finding that DVD things would fall apart. God is so much bigger than our feeble attempts to save the day. In the midst of our short comings, The Lord Will Provide. Even if we don’t see it, even if when we try to come up with our own strategy and it lets us down.
The Lord Will Provide.