This morning I read the story in Genesis Chapter 22 of Abraham being tested. Having grown up in church my whole life I could have told the story with out even looking at the book. However this morning I took the time to slowly and deliberately read the text. I was astonished at the phrases that jumped off my page and into my heart.
“God himself will provide.”
“You have not withheld…”
“Abraham called that place, The Lord Will Provide.”
In this story Abraham is being tested to see if he really and truly believes if God will provide. His test is to offer his son Issac on the altar. Abraham is obedient and without question does what he is told. At the last moment an angel of the Lord tells him to stop, and explained that because he was obedient and did not withheld his son, I will bless you and your descendants.”
Withhold. That words stirs my heart. I too am being tested and I know it. What am I withholding from God? One glance at my kitchen bar/home office provides the answer: Financial Security. In that moment, I went “old school” ….Old Testament old school. I replaced the snowman table runner with items I have been withholding from God. At that moment, I turned the table to an altar. Upon the altar I placed our taxes (we owe a lot), our budget, the check book, bills due, car keys (3 vehicles need new tires, brakes, and inspections). I also placed vitamins and items from my children and husband to represent our health (my struggles with weight) and my family.
Next, I prayed. Touching each item as I prayed. At one time I just rested my head on the table and stretched out my arms touching it all and offering it all to the Lord. I too called this place “The Lord Will Provide.”
After I cleaned up my mess (I had a strong urge to burn it all, but since the IRS probably wouldn’t consider that a good reason to not pay the thousands we owe, I decided against it.) I ran on the treadmill. It was not a coincidence song after random song used the phrase “God does not withhold his love” etc. I said out loud “Do not withhold. Got it Lord. I hear you loud and clear!”
I urge you to read this Genesis Chapter 22 for yourself. Perhaps even ask yourself what have you been withholding from God?
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12
“The angel of the Lord said because you have not withheld your son, I will bless you and your descendants.”