Foreboding Joy

I am someone who really hasn't ever experienced a great loss.  I grew up in a wonderful home with wonderful parents.  I lived in a small town where I could drive less than a mile to see my grandparents or my aunt, uncle, and cousins who were (and still are) my best friends.  I was surrounded by the best support that I could ever ask for.  I have been financially stable since the age of 18 and bought my first home at the age of 22.  I am married to a wonderful, caring, patient man and we have the most beautiful little girl.  When I look back on my life up until this point I can see nothing but blessings.  Have there been some hard times in-between? Absolutely! but I can't help but feel so blessed.  Because of this, lately I have been having this persistent sense of foreboding in the back of my mind as if I am due for a great loss.  It's not just any loss that has flooded my mind, it's the loss of my child.  I lay in bed unable to sleep at night crippled with the thought of losing my little girl and I often end up in tears as I reach for my husband to seek his comfort.  Together we have been praying that the Lord would offer me peace and bring an end to the unbearable fear that hinders my joy.  Just the other day the Lord lead to a place in His word that brought me so much peace and comfort.  

The story of Abraham and his son, Isaac. 

In Abraham's old age God promised him a son by his wife Sarah, a barren woman.  Through their son would come nations and kings and God would establish His covenant.  

Even through Abraham and Sarah's doubt and old age God's promise was fulfilled and Sarah bore a son and named him Isaac.  

Now here comes the weird part:  After some time God asks Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering.  

if you are freaked out by now just bear with me.  The word goes on to say this: 

"Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac.  And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and then we will come back to you."  And he took in his hand the fire and the knife and they went, both of them together.  And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My Father! Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"  Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." When they came to the place of which God had told him Abraham bound Isaac his son and laid him on the alter.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham! Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God."  And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.  And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son." - Genesis 22:3-14

There are a couple of things that I take away when reading this story.  

1.  Abrahams unshakable faith in the Lord.  If you look back at the very beginning of this passage Abraham tells the young men to stay back with the donkey.  Then he says:  "The boy and I will go over there and worship and then we will come back to you."  Did you catch that?  He didn't say "I will come back to you" he said "we."  He didn't know how or when but Abraham knew that God would allow him and his son to return together.  

2. Abrahams faith is exemplified again when Isaac asks him where the lamb for the offering is.  Abraham's simple reply was that the Lord would provide one.  

3.  The Lord provided.  God saw Abraham's obedience and found favor in him.  The Lord provided a lamb in place of Isaac. 

It was never God's intention for the boy to be sacrificed, after all Isaac was part of a huge promise and plan that God was piecing together.  Abraham remembered that promise and his faith never wavered.  

Now obviously God is NOT asking me to offer up my child as a burnt offering but part of surrendering my whole life to the Lord as He does ask of me is also surrender my children to Him.  Meaning I am to trust Him with my children wholeheartedly, to trust Him with their futures and their protection because only then am I freed from the haunting fear of losing them.  I know He has a plan for my daughter and I know He delights in the joy that she brings me and everyone else around her.  And I can trust that He is going to provide for her.  

Sometimes things may seem to good to be true, like baring a son in your old age but God is not a "too good to be true" kind of God.  He showers us with grace and blessing because that is simply who He is and He delights in joy! I want to trust the Lord with my children the way that Abraham trusted the Lord with His little boy, unwavering and steadfast.  

This is why I am choosing to trust the Lord and let Him remove from me the burden of foreboding and lead me into the fullness of joy.  I believe in His promise and I believe that He will provide.  

What is it in your life that you are holding on to?  Is it your child, finances, your future?  Know that by entrusting those things to God you can experience a such wonderful freedom!  Trust and rest in Him knowing that He is not too good to be true! 

"be still and know that I am God." 

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