Words about this week's quote.
My favorite part of the retelling in Genesis 22 is when Isaac asks his father on the way up the mountain, "I see the altar. I see the knife. But, Father, who will provide the lamb?"
Abraham's Answer: "The Lord will provide the Lamb."
How Abraham's heart and love for his son must have raged against his willingness to be obedient to the Lord even in death.
I have never questioned God on the death of my son, Justin. I know there is a better purpose and plan in it all. I have experienced deep comfort and peace in the arms of my Savior over this issue. I had to trust God to be as good as His Word and that He would not let me stumble or fall even in the most devastating circumstances. I could have raged against Him and cried out about the injustice... I could have renounced my faith in Him because life had not worked out the way I had planned and the answers to my prayers for my son were often the situation growing much worse rather than better. Anytime we experienced a moment of reprieve in his life, it would seem it was only the calm before a much more violent storm. Yet, in it all, I never stopped praying, believing, asking or hoping that God would deliver on the words spoken over my son all his life.
And what about Ishmael? What happened to Abraham's other son? Hagar ran from the harshness of her mistress while pregnant with Ishmael, she ran to the desert where she encountered the Lord and received a promise. Had she not believed God for that promise, she could not have returned to the harsh treatment of her mistress and endured for the sake of her child. She returned to her mistress and endured the harshness with the promise that the Lord saw her agony and would take care of Hagar and her unborn child. She went back only to return to the desert once more. Only to watch as her son almost die... And the God who sees, El Roi, He saw Hagar and Ishmael and had mercy on them - just as He did with Isaac and Abraham on the mountain. Sometimes, receiving the promise means believing God while returning to places you had once thought the door would be closed forever.
This Psalm comforts me when I find myself revisited by haunting moments of my past - places and things that have been long done but have not been dealt with between the Lord and I. Things I'd just asoon never revisist. However, God in His mercy would not allow me to be pushed back to those places unless He intended to help me and bless me through them so that those circumstances could never make me fall again.
When I find myself in the grips of self-defeating life patterns, going back again and again to what has wrought havoc and destruction in my life, I am learning to ask God why I keep going back and how this works in His plan for my life. He is ever faithful. He restores my heart, my mind and my soul in those moments and always provides a way out for me. He then cleanses me of it and redeems the memory to show me where He was and what He was doing during those dark and painful times. It is truly for Freedom that Christ has set us Free. Going back does not mean revisiting and reclaiming the shame and destruction of a particular period of my life, going back means believing by faith that if I entrust my past to God and allow Him to redeem it - it will be used to reveal His good and glory in the life of another and in turn bring restoration and healing to me. He is faithful. He never forsakes us. He asks only that we would believe.
"What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" ~ Romans 4:3 (NIV)
God gave Abraham credit for trusting His word. He gave Abraham credit for believing in Him through much adversity - and He will give you credit, too. Not for how you failed Him, but for how you trusted in Him when the times were hard, the memories painful and so difficult to understand. Trust Him completely let Him redeem your past as He delivers you into a glorious future. He truly is making all things new.
For more info about In "Other Words", check out Loni's blog at Writing Canvas.