Monday, October 6, 2008

My Jehovah Jireh

Friday afternoon, my friend's mom offered to continue hosting the yard sale on Saturday (while I went to the Children's Ministry Conference) to see if she could sell the rest of our stuff. I didn't have many things left. I had a high chair and a preschool table, plus a few odd items. But there hadn't been any interest at all in those things Friday, so I had my doubts about whether it would be worth her time--at least on my account. But she insisted it was no trouble.

On Saturday, at the conference, I spent quite a bit of time looking over the tons of wonderful resources available for purchase. This is my downfall, by the way. Put me in front of a few tables laden with curriculum and activity books and I feel like a kid at the candy counter. Throw in some game books and teaching aids and I get positively giddy.

I was drooling over two books in particular that had tons of wonderful ideas in them. One was a game book, with games designed to correlate with stories throughout the Bible. How cool is that?? The other was a book full of skits portraying familiar Bible stories complete with adaptations for varying numbers of kids to be involved. Plus, that book came with a CD of sound effects! I could picture the kids having so much fun acting out the stories to the sounds on the CD! Both books could be used in any youth setting to supplement a whole host of devotional themes.

But, they would cost me just under 24 dollars a piece, and I only had 50 dollars in my purse--which I intended to use on milk and necessities this week. I didn't really want to spend the money on books. But, on the other hand, we've been looking for fresh ways to bring fun and creativity into teaching the Bible. So I bought them and figured I'd rearrange my shopping list and just make do. I felt good about the choice, knowing that the money was well-spent and the books would be well-used.

After the conference, I went by my friend's mother's place to pick up what was left of the yard sale items and guess what? There were just a few clothes left and she handed me an envelope with (have you guessed it?) $57 dollars in it!

God is faithful to provide even the simplest of things, if we put Him first. He is Jehovah-Jireh. One of my favorite stories is in Genesis 22. In this passage, God tests Abraham and asks him to offer his own son as the sacrifice on the mountain. Abraham, in one of the most significant shows of faith I can possibly imagine, proceeds to the mountain in astonishing obedience. He climbs the hill with his son, builds an alter, arranges the wood on it and prepares his son as the sacrifice. Can you imagine?? My heart aches just thinking about it.

Then, just as Abraham is about to take the life of his son, his promised son and the joy of his life, God calls out his name and stops him. Read with me:

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Hear 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 (Jehovah Jireh) and to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."

The small sacrifice I made in finances for ministering to the children is nothing compared to what Abraham was prepared to sacrifice. Yet, God chose to honor that by providing the money I needed for milk, cheese, bread and vegetables. God hasn't changed. He still asks us to give, and he still provides. What has he provided for you lately?

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