Peace be with you!
A few years ago, I came to the painful realization I would probably never be a mother in the traditional sense. Due to my physical limitations, I would not be able to have children of my own. Even if I could give birth, who would care for the infant while I spent time in rehabilitation to regain my strength? Even if rehab was not needed, my history of muscle spasms would put my baby in danger. One muscle spasm could kill an infant and that would destroy me. I debated whether adoption might be possible, but when you cannot drive, cook, or feed yourself, having a family is difficult. After many tears and arguments with loved ones, I conceded that having children of my own – adopted or biological –would probably not be in my or their best interest (though there is always a possibility with God in charge).
As I read the sacrifice of Isaac story, I resonated with Abraham as he walks up the mountain with Isaac. What pain Abraham must have felt when the Lord commanded him to kill his son (Genesis 22:2)! Abraham had already banished his first son, Ishmael, with his mother after Sarah, his wife, got jealous and commanded him to do so (Genesis 21:8-15). Now the Lord commands Abraham to kill Isaac, the son the Lord promised him. How was this fair?
I have often struggled to understand why God would let incompetent or reluctant parents to have several children – and not allow me just one. Why let a mother starve her child when I could feed him? Why let a child run around town naked when I could clothe him? Why let a father abuse a child when I could love him? These are the questions running through my mind when I watch the news at night. I can only imagine the questions running through Abraham’s mind. Abraham asks the young men following him to stay back with the donkey while he and Isaac go up the mountain to give a burnt offering to the Lord (Genesis 22:5). I am sure Abraham was screaming internally, “YOU PROMISED ME a son. YOU PROMISED ME many descendents. YOU PROMISED ME a great nation through ISAAC! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL SARAH? YOU PROMISED US!” Abraham must have been emotionally drained walking up that mountain. He must have been numb inside with barely enough strength to go through the motions of a burnt offering to the Lord.
Just as Abraham takes the knife to kill his Isaac for the burnt offering, the Lord calls out, “Abraham, Abraham, stop! Do not harm the boy” (Genesis 22:11-12). Abraham sees a ram in the brushes and offered it up as a burnt offering to the Lord (Genesis 22:13). The Lord provides for his faithful servant.
The Lord always provides what we need at the time we need it. The Lord may never provide me with my own children, but he has led me to be a strong mentor to young ladies. I am able to show these young ladies a different perspective on life and share experiences with them that make a lasting difference in their lives. I probably will never be a traditional mother, but God provides ways for me to still shape younger generations. I am blessed to be mentor to these young people.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for keeping your promises to Abraham and Sarah. Help us to see how you provide what we need. Lead us to care for younger generations. Protect children who have no one to care for them. Wrap these children with your love and grace. Thank you for providing us with everything we need. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- How does the Lord provide you with what you need?
- How has the Lord blessed you?