DayBreaks for 10/24/16 – Another Ram in the Thicket
From the DayBreaks archive, October 2006:
The story of Abraham and Isaac has always intrigued and fascinated (and horrified) me. There are obvious lessons to be learned from the story: the faith of Abraham, the obedience of Abraham, the trust of Isaac (even when it became apparent that he was the “sacrifice”), the importance of trusting God. I’m not sure if Abraham or Isaac was the most relieved when the angel stopped Abraham’s hand and they saw the ram caught by its horns in the thicket. And I have searched the haunted halls of my heart asking myself if I could have ever done what Abraham did – and I’m driven to my knees in humility by the answer.
But, perhaps instead of taking the extreme case of sacrificing a child, we need to look at other things that are much more close to home. As Chuck Swindoll put it in Fascinating Lives of Forgotten People: “What it is that you are gripping so tightly? A possession? Your vocation? A dream? A consuming relationship? The Lord may be in the process of taking it from you. He’ll gently tug on it at first, giving you the opportunity to release your grip. If you resist, He’ll eventually have to pry your fingers away…My advice? Voluntarily release it. Trust the Lord to provide. He has another ram in the thicket. You can’t see it right now, but He has it waiting. Only after you have placed your sacrifice on the altar will you be ready to receive God’s provision.”
We all grip tightly to things in our world and in our lives. I seriously doubt that God is asking any of us right now to sacrifice a child. But I don’t doubt for a moment that He’s asking each of us to let go of something that has become a god in our life. What do I mean? Anything that we put our confidence and trust in is an idol, a god, if you will. And we all have confidence in something in this world that pulls us away from trusting Him entirely and completely. Do you know what those things are in your life? I think that they’re probably the things that we fear happening the most: losing jobs, a stock market crash, losing our health, losing a friend that may not be a positive influence.
What are you afraid of the most? Is it possible that right now God is trying to teach you to surrender that to Him, trusting Him completely for all that you need today, tomorrow and forever? As Chuck said, “He has another ram in the thicket.” Do you believe that?
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for all that You have entrusted to us. Help us to recognize that You are the source of all good things and that we have been given all we have to benefit others. May we hold our possessions with very loose hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.