P.AllanA beautiful lady in our church family sent me this reading this morning.  It’s an Advent reading from author Ann  Voskamp.  May the Lord speak to your heart through it, as he did mine.

“Sometime later God tested Abraham.  He said to him, ‘Abraham!’  ‘Here I am,’ he replied.  Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’ . . . Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.  As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, ‘Father?’  ‘Yes,, my son!?’  Abraham replied,  ”The fire and the wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’  Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’  And the two of them went on together.  When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.  He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Then he reached out his had and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham!  Abraham!’  ‘Here I am,’ he replied.  ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said.  ‘Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’  Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. (Genesis 22:1,2,6-14).

It is a thing to call a place “The Lord Will Provide.”

It is a thing to name where you live “Provision”, to name the place you call home, “The Lord Will Provide.”

To take your tired hand and turn the knob of that front door marked “Provide” and step right into the widening vista of Advent and find that the literal translation of “to provide” means “to see.”

God always sees—and He will always see to it.

That is all that ever matters:  God always sees, and He will always see to the matter.

Your legs may be weary and your heart may be heavy and your questions may be many; but whatever you are facing, it is always named Mount Moriah:  The Lord Will Appear.  The Lord sees.  And He will see to it.  And He will be seen.

The act of God’s seeing means God acts.  God’s observing means He always serves.  This is the thing:  your God’s constant vision is your constant provision.

You don’t need to climb mountains named “I Will Perform.”

You don’t need to climb mountains named “I Will Produce.”

Every mountain that every Christian ever faces, the Lord levels with sufficient grace:  The Lord Will Provide.

This is what Abraham knows.  You can see it in the way he obeys unafraid and unquestioningly, the way he walks unhurried and unworried, the way he lives.

Worry is belief gone wrong—because you don’t believe that God will get it right.

Peace is belief that exhales—because you believe that God’s provision is everywhere, like air.

In the thin air of Advent (Jesus’ coming), you may not even know to say it out loud: “I thought it would be easier.”  And your God comes near:  I will provide the way.  You may not even know who to tell:  “I thought it would be different.”  And your God draws close:  I will provide grace for the gaps.  You may not even know how to find words for it:  “I thought I would be . . . more.”  And your God reaches out:  I will provide Me.

God gives God.  That is the gift God always ultimately gives.  Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need.  God gives God.  God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the greatest Gift with our time:  time in His Word, time in His presence, time at His feet.

In this moment, in this middle of midwinter, in the dark of your very thickest thicket, there’s the rough bark of the Tree.  And there—you can feel it—the whitened wool of your willing Lamb.  You can feel the willing pulse of His warm heart. Advent is the time to see the Tree in your thicket and whisper the echoing words of your God:  Now I know.  Now I know.  Since You did not spare Your only Son, how will You not also graciously give us–even me–all things You know I need?  (Romans 8:32).

Now I know.  Now I know, because You have not withheld from me Your only Son.  Now I know You love me.

How He always has a ram in the thicket.

How He always provides—this bleating love calling you home.

Please like & share: