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. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” Genesis 22:13-14 (NIV)
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Today I am looking back over the past few days and acknowledging that although it was mostly a time of frustration and inconvenience, it was also a time of great provision. God never forgot me, especially on those days when I literally told Him: “God I have no idea how I am going to manage today; please send somebody (or some bodies) to help me!” As one day merged into another I didn’t only ask for help but found myself relying on God to make decisions for me.
Have you ever found yourself saying: “Ok God, there are these three things I need to do. Please ease the tightness in my chest and show me which one is the real priority here while giving me the peace of mind in knowing that this is what I should be doing at this exact time.” Or maybe you used these words instead: “God, I have absolutely no clue what to do in this situation! I can’t think straight and I just can’t decide … so you’re going to have to take the steering wheel on this one while I sit in the passenger seat.” Can you relate? I am sure it’s not just me that has these types of conversations with our Father.
A friend told me recently that God builds and tests our muscles in the valley so that we will be fit enough to make the trip to the top of the mountain. She is so right! I guess all we have to do is focus on being obedient to God while resisting the many temptations that the devil sends to distract us from staying on the true path.
Our heavenly Father is our Yahweh Yireh, a name which means ‘the Lord will provide’ and as I encourage myself to stand firm in the knowledge that God will provide for me whether I am down in the valley or up on the mountain top, so do I encourage you to stand firm and to look for that ram in the thicket just as Abraham did – because it will without a doubt be right there waiting for you. Do I hear an ‘amen’?
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)
Let’s expect good things people!
In every single area of our lives we can expect God to show up for us … it’s a fact 🙂
“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:8-12 (NIV)
I believe everyone knows the importance of support, whether we are giving it or receiving it. No man is an island and although that may sound like a tired cheesy cliché, it is very true. Think about it. There is no job that we can entirely perform on our own, no child we can raise on our own, no committee we can volunteer to be a part of on our own (if that makes sense), no marriage that can work if only one person is putting in the effort on their own.
In this well-known bible story let’s pay specific attention to the support which Aaron and Hur lent to Moses when his hands grew tired. Here we have one man on each side of him and not for 10 or 15 or 30 minutes but committed all the way until sunset. Based on this help, Moses’ hand with the staff of God remained steady and Joshua was able to win the battle against the Amalekites. Would the battle have been won without this support? No, because we are specifically told that whenever Moses lowered his hand the Amalekites were winning.
Today, is there anyone we can offer to support in some way, no matter how small? Do we know someone who may be physically ill, unemployed or facing a loss of some sort (whether loved one, relationship or significant material possession such as their home or transportation)? Do they need us to keep their hands raised? Or do we ourselves need to find an Aaron and/or Hur to help us hold our own hands up above the waters of life?
Never forget that God considers His children to be keepers of their brothers and sisters. As for me, I will be there to support as needed but in the meantime, admit that I am looking for both Aaron and Hur (not being greedy but realistic – smile) … I know they are somewhere out there.
But what about you? Are you looking for an Aaron or Hur too? Was there a time when you needed serious support and someone was there to lift you over or through the challenge? We welcome your stories 🙂
Just as God looks after the little children so will He look after us 🙂
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
Matthew 15:29-32 (NIV)
At times it is obvious that we live in a society of very inconsiderate people. There are neighbours who blast their music loudly from their stereo on Sunday afternoons while you are trying to rest, or totally block your gate with their car yet have an attitude when asked to move. Or what about the people who go to parties and park all along the sidewalk, leaving pedestrians to fend for their lives by having to walk in the road? I am sure you have never seen able-bodied shoppers park in spaces allocated for the disabled or elderly, and it may only be some of us who are affected by co-workers who meet their personal deadline on a team project but somehow forget to leave you with enough time to meet your own. We hold our heads as executives go off and make decisions regarding our jobs without consulting us and think nothing of it when we have to work overtime to complete an assignment. We fume quietly as minibus drivers hold up traffic to have long chit chats or stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to pick up or drop off passengers. And let’s not forget the pedestrians who appear to literally jump out on to zebra crossings without allowing you enough time to apply your brakes.
Then there are the little things: someone takes the last ice cube from the freezer and ‘forgets’ to refill the ice tray with water, or they replace the iced water container in the refrigerator with exactly one centimeter of water covering the bottom, or better yet leave two little peeny weeny kernels of corn in the salad dish to avoid washing up … sigh. I have struggled with much of the above during my lifetime and admit that sometimes I grow really tired of thinking of others when it is so much easier to just not bother.
God reminds us however to go over to the book of Matthew where we can take a closer look at His son’s life. There we see that Jesus always made the time to be considerate of others. Even when He was tired or didn’t feel like it, He healed the sick or comforted the poor or simply let someone touch His robe so they could be healed. He never fussed, never fretted, never even considered using some bad words on the disciples when they didn’t see how 4000 or 5000 people could be fed (or should be fed). Did Jesus wait until He got to know these people personally before reaching out to them? Did He wait until He felt like helping before bothering to do so? No! He is always thinking about us and what He can do for us! Hallelujah!
So what is our plan? Should we continue to think of others in the midst of our topsy-turvy lives where so many others are self-centred and blatantly so? I can only speak for Gale but let’s see how much we can do for someone else this week … if only just because.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
‘Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
Do you find it hard to be supportive, especially when someone is being totally unsupportive? Is it easy for you to acknowledge the homeless or those down on their luck? Can you reach out and touch someone deemed by society as untouchable? Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to share your thoughts!