"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19
2007 found my husband and me very low on hope. We had two children, a 2-year-old and a newborn, my husband lost his business, and his father died. At the time, I was not employed, so we had no insurance which meant we had to pay for the delivery of our second child out-of-pocket. In addition to the astronomical bill we received for the baby’s delivery and care, we also had a mortgage and household bills we couldn’t pay, our children to feed (thank God for the ability to breastfeed!), and a car that had barely survived a collision that left one of the headlights dangling from its socket. We were frustrated and afraid, but it was in this space that we met Jehovah-Jireh, "The Lord our Provider" for ourselves.
The first account of God being referred to as Jehovah-Jireh occurs in Genesis 22:14 when God told Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, on a mountain in Moriah. Just when Abraham was about to follow through with the sacrifice, the Lord stopped him and showed him a ram whose horns were stuck in a thicket. After sacrificing the ram, Abraham named the place where he had taken his son, “The Lord will Provide”.
One of the main takeaways from this story is the power of obedience. God expects us to comply when he directs us to do something, and do so without complaint. In Genesis, God asked Abraham to sacrifice the one thing he loved most to make sure he still had Abraham’s full love and loyalty. In other words, he wanted to make sure Abraham had not begun to take his love for Isaac out of context by idolizing him. Abraham’s obedient response proved his loyalty and won the heart of God.
What has become your idol? Are you beholden to your worry, your fears, and doubt? Are you going to food before you head to the throne in prayer? Are you seeking counsel from trusted friends instead of asking God to guide you? How much do you really trust God to be Jehovah-Jireh, to provide the answers you need, the opportunities, an open door for new things to come into your life, and help when you’re drowning?
2007, our year of longsuffering, found us grieving and wondering if we had been abandoned by the Lord. God called on us to be obedient by putting down our idols, those things we turned to instead of God when life was not going our way. This was not an easy feat but it forced us to be very cognizant of what methods we used to process what we were experiencing, and not to seek other forms of coping mechanisms--food, alcohol, going to others first before God--to deal with the situation. It also forced is to be vigilant over our tongues, and to speak life and not death over ourselves.
In response to our obedience, God sent us many “rams in the bush”. People prayed for us. We received unexpected meals from friends. Without even asking, I was offered a part-time job at my church. My husband found a night job. I produced enough breastmilk to sustain our baby (this was a HUGE deal). Each blessing restored a little of our faith, and each step made our bond with the Lord stronger.
Trusting God when times are good is easy because you don’t really believe you need him to provide, but those are the times when you should be working to strengthen your connection with the Lord in preparation for the dry seasons. Having already established a relationship with God will only work in your favor when the world gets dark. It is during those times that you pull on the hem of Jehovah-Jireh’s garment and meet him as your Provider. He will extend his ear to you. He will extend his heart and hand to you. He will extend his peace to you, and he will unleash his love for you if only you are willing to trust him to lead you when you cannot see the path in front of you. He is our great Provider, the one that never fails.
Is this series a blessing to you? Please share your comments with me. You never know how your testimony will be open the door to healing for someone else. Please click here to get caught up on the entire "Praying the Names of God" Fall Selah blog series.