Girlfriends in God - Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012
Is God Really Enough? Part 1
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
So Abraham calledthat place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As I worked through the seemingly endless number of emails, my heart grew heavy and my soul cried out to God - so many women in so much pain. I could feel their fear and confusion in every word. Their circumstances were all very different, but they were all really asking the same question, “Where are you, God?”

I was already tired and overwhelmed, having just returned from speaking at a women’s conference in an area of the country where the economy had taken a nosedive. So many of the prayer requests were centered around one deep need – the provision of God. And honestly, I was struggling with the same question in my own life.

I hurt. The doctors said it was fibromyalgia and that the medical world doesn’t really understand the disease, so my treatment options were “iffy” at best. I had a lot of questions but no one seemed to have any answers.

I was worried. We didn’t have enough money to pay the rent, and we had just learned that both of my husband’s parents had cancer. A boatload of unknowns stretched before us.

I was lonely – an emotion that really made no sense – but l felt it just the same. I have great friends and a support group most women would envy, but at that moment, I felt like no one really understood where I was and what I was going through.

Like the women emailing me for comfort and advice, I cried out, “Where are you, God?”

He gently whispered, “I am right here, child. I am your Jehovah Jireh. Remember Abraham?” I did, but I obviously needed a refresher course in faith. I grabbed my Bible and, with a sense of desperation, turned to Genesis 22 to read the familiar faith story. But this time, I saw Abraham through very different eyes.

God asked Abraham to make the unspeakable sacrifice of Isaac, his one and only son, the son of the promise. I am certain Abraham hurt in a way I will never understand. I know he probably felt lonely and afraid. His soul must have wanted to scream the question, “Why, God?” But in total obedience, Abraham walked through his fear, set aside his doubt and pain and prepared to do the very unthinkable thing God asked him to do. He, his servants, and his precious innocent son, Isaac, began the journey to Mount Moriah where the sacrifice was to be made.

I can only imagine the turmoil in Abraham’s heart when Isaac asked where the sacrificial lamb was. In faith, Abraham promised Isaac that God would provide. When they reached the place where the servants were to wait, Abraham verbalizes his faith in God when he tells the servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” It hit me like a ton of bricks! Abraham said “we” will be back. I don’t believe for a moment that Abraham was in denial. Nor do I believe God had already told Abraham what the ultimate plan was. Abraham was simply counting on Jehovah Jireh to provide in a way that would honor God and strengthen Abraham’s faith – no matter what the cost might be.

Abraham and Isaac proceeded to the appointed place where Abraham gently laid his son on the altar. Abraham’s heart must have shattered at the confusion in Isaac’s eyes as he looked up at his father holding the knife. But Isaac had faith, too. He trusted his daddy – even when he had no clue what was about to happen. Isaac was sure of his father’s love and care. And that was enough for both Abraham and Isaac. It was also enough for God.

Don’t miss Thursday’s devotion for the rest of this exciting faith story!

Let’s Pray
Father, I want to be a woman of faith. I am tired of allowing my fears and doubts to hinder my walk with You. I want to be like Abraham, Lord. Please give me the strength to step out in faith, knowing You will always be there for me. Help me learn how to choose faith over fear and when the darkness comes, help me remember the promises You have given me in the light. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
When we think about the provision of God, we automatically think about the way God meets our physical needs. What physical needs has God met in your life today? Have you thanked Him?

If you could have today only the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?

In what other areas of your life have you seen God’s provision? How? Record your thoughts in your journal.

More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Study, Getting a Grip on Fear, and learn how to manage your fears, doubt your doubts and live a life of faith.    

Looking for a Bible Study? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journeyand learn how to discover and live out God’s plan and purpose for your life. (Join now and have access to all topics covered in 2012.) Be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

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Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Tuesday, 02 October 2012.