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Lord, my Provider

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I can’t think of any modern day example of Abraham and Isaac. Can you? But a personal experience comes to mind where “my call” from the Lord was to lay my rights down in surrender and trust the Lord to provide all my needs in the midst of the suffering.
I have shared about some of the hard places in our marriage. This particular time I was so overcome by hatred, fear and hurt unable to see past why I even got married. Unlike Abraham’s obedient faith, I was overwhelmed with self-pity, hopelessness and felt such spite towards my husband. I questioned if God was even for me, this marriage or our family for that matter.  Couldn’t he have yelled from heaven, “Michelle, Michelle” like he did for Abraham to stop us from marrying. He could have. But he didn’t. Would I have responded like Abraham? Maybe not? Maybe he did and I wasn’t listening.
I put headphones in and started listening to a song that still speaks to me, that puts in words what I felt and experienced at that time; it spoke to the pain, the death and surrender and even the self-loathing pride. Hopefully you know the story of Icarus, if not, check it out.  The song is by Jars of Clay, called Worlds Apart. Here are the first two verses:
I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die
To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache
Suffering, whether from your own doing or someone else’s, is the great flaw of humanity, the necessary evil. God uses death and suffering to change us from “glory to glory”. As I have been changed so has my marriage – there continues beautiful transformation from what was once a desert of dry bones.  God provides streams in the desert and gives breath to our deadness.
After hours of crying, kicking and clinching the bed sheets in my fists, I remember that God provided for me. It was no magical writing on the wall, or change in my circumstances. It was the courage to receive love from him, to be vulnerable with others, take the risk of inviting others to share in my suffering, putting myself out there; like Abraham did when he, I am sure, sorrowfully but surely made his journey to the mountain to sacrifice Isaac.
If you have been abandoned or hurt by people who are supposed to be there for you, then you know like me that everyone is suspect of trust including God. Intimate knowledge of Yaweh Yireh (Lord, my Provider) in our suffering is what we desperately cling to. Consequently, we begin to understand the nature of trust, like Abraham, that’s why he was rewarded according to his faith (trust in action through suffering). I got up from my bed with the understanding that it will take great courage to be vulnerable and trust in the face of suffering – to trust God, to trust others and to risk putting it all on the line believing that God is for me and will provide.

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