“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.” Genesis 22:13-14 NIV
A few years ago, my son John wrecked his car in a five-car accident coming home from work. That’s the bad news. The good news is that he wasn’t injured, and neither was anyone else involved in the accident. After thanking God for keeping everyone safe, my husband Joe and I began discussing how we would deal with the unexpected vehicle shortage in our household. We prayed and asked the Lord what He would have us do. Then Joe remembered that he spoke to my sister earlier that day, and she mentioned that she had bought a new car and was donating her used van to charity. We prayed again, asking the Lord if He would have us approach my sister about buying the van from her. When we felt we had the Lord’s approval, we called my sister and asked if she would agree to sell us her van. She sympathized with our sudden need for a vehicle, and she told us the van was ours if we wanted it. Two days later, we drove our “new” van home, and my husband told everyone, “If that isn’t God, I don’t know what is!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
One of the things I love most about God is the way He goes ahead of us and provides for our needs before they even arise. John’s accident didn’t catch the Lord by surprise. He knew it was coming, and He went ahead of us and provided the van before we even knew we needed it. The morning of my son’s accident, my sister called Joe at work to ask him a tax-related question (my husband being a part-time tax preparer). She was donating her old van and wanted to know how to handle the applicable tax deduction. We found out later that my sister had already mailed the ownership title for her van to the organization she was donating it to. But because she neglected to provide all the necessary documentation, the paperwork was sent back to her. She was just preparing to put it in the mail a second time when my husband called with his offer to buy the van.
We’ve all heard it said that God’s timing is perfect and He’s never late, and that’s true. But it’s also true that He’s usually not early, either! God often uses circumstances like these to stretch our faith, to encourage us to depend on Him for our needs, and to remind us of His faithfulness. I’ve learned from experience that when we make God our Source, He will move heaven and earth to provide what we need at just the right time. And why would we want to make anything or anyone else our Source? Can our employers go ahead of us and supply our needs before they arise? Can our spouses, parents, or anyone else? The Bible says, “God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 AMP) Only God can make a promise like this, and He’s not about to share His glory with anyone else. (Isaiah 42:8) If we’re ever tempted to depend on our own wisdom or talents, or our money, the Lord has some stern warnings for us: “Your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have caused you to turn away from Me and claim, ‘I am self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone!’ So disaster will overtake you suddenly, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will arise so fast that you won’t know what hit you.” (Isaiah 47:10-11 NLT)
Just as the Lord went ahead of Abraham and provided the ram in the thicket to substitute for Isaac as a sacrifice, He will go ahead of us and provide exactly what we need at just the right time. I once heard a godly man say, “Don’t stick the knife into Isaac until you look for the ram in the thicket.” What that means to me is that if a need arises and we don’t seek the Lord first for HIS wisdom and solution for it, we may make wrong decisions that can have devastating and far-reaching consequences. Experiences like this one that my family had reassure us that God truly is in control, and He is more than willing and able to fulfill our every need, if we’ll let Him. Make Him your Source today, and give Him the chance to prove His faithfulness time and time again.
Lord, today I make You the Source of all my needs, committing them all to You. Help me to do my part by always seeking You and Your Kingdom first. (Matthew 6:33) When I’m tempted to trust in other people or things to supply my needs, remind me how that will only lead to disappointment and defeat. Thank You for proving Yourself faithful again and again!