The Ram is on its Way
Glynnis Whitwer

"So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.'" Genesis 22:14 (NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation so desperate that it looked hopeless?

Have you ever sat at the kitchen table wondering how you were going to pay the electric bill? Have you ever stood at a door that's been slammed in your face by an angry teenager and despaired at ever having a relationship with him again? Have you ever had your heart broken so deeply that you wondered if you would ever feel whole again?

Sadly, we live in a broken world where desperate situations happen every day. I know someone reading this devotion is wondering how she will make it through the day because her situation looks hopeless. If that is you, I encourage you to keep reading. I believe God has a message of hope for you today.

That message is found in the Bible, in the story of a man who was dealing with his own desperate situation. His name was Abraham and he faced the greatest testing of his life. After longing for a son for many years, God finally gave Abraham a boy, whom he named Isaac. Abraham never imagined God would test his faith by asking him to sacrifice his son. But it happened.

It had to have been the darkest day of Abraham's life as he trudged up the mountain, with firewood strapped to his son's back. Every step took Abraham closer to what he believed to be the sad ending of a hopeless situation – the death of his son. Yet in spite of his sorrow, Abraham trusted God. His heart wasn't soaring with joy. He wasn't dancing up the mountain. But he put one foot in front of the other. Walking through the darkness of the situation; obeying His God's commands.

Unbeknownst to Abraham, something else was walking up that mountain. Quietly. Out of sight. On the other side of the mountain. Something else was putting one foot in front of the other. Only Abraham couldn't see it.

For every step Abraham took, a ram on the other side of the mountain took a step.

All Abraham saw that day was his solitary journey of pain. As he got closer to the top of the mountain, his dread must have increased. I wonder if he asked himself any questions. I would have. I would have wondered why hadn't God intervened? Why hadn't God stopped this testing? Couldn't God see that Abraham was a man of faith? Why test him in this way?

But there was no answer. There was no voice from heaven. And so Abraham kept obeying his God's command. He put Isaac on an altar and prepared to sacrifice his one and only son.

And just at that very moment, at the very last second, when it looked like the end had come, God spoke, stopping the sacrifice. Abraham looked up and there caught in the thicket was a ram. Abraham took his son off the altar, replaced him with the ram, and offered the sacrifice to God.

Abraham named that place "Yahweh-Yireh" or "The Lord Will Provide." And the story was written down for generations of God-followers to read. It was written so that you and I today would read it as we face our own hopeless situations. It was captured in print so that you and I would know that God is already planning for our provision. We don't see it. We don't hear it. But we can trust that our God is at work. On your behalf, and on mine.

I choose to trust God today. A ram is on the way.

Dear Lord, You know how desperate I am today. You know that my faith has wavered. Although I want to trust You, I'm having trouble doing so. I ask for Your intervention in my situation, and for an increase of my faith while I wait. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Can we pray for you?

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight

An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell

Talk with Glynnis at her blog – Welcome Home: Where Your Heart Longs to Be!

For more resources from Glynnis, click here.

Application Steps:
Read Psalm 91. List the promises God has for those who love Him.

Reflections:
God's timing is not our timing. What are some reasons God might wait to answer our prayers?
Read the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. What are some of the things Abraham did right that you can apply to your situation?

Power Verses:
Psalm 91:14, "'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.'" (NIV)

Psalm 22:5, "They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed." (NIV)

© 2009 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much. You have no idea how much I needed to be told just to put one foot in front of the other. I can't have the marriage I want in one day. I just have to keep living, trusting that one day I'll be happy.

Thank you for this devotional today!

I had never really thought about the ram making its way up the other side, too.

What an awesome visual.

Blogger Addie's Mommy said...

I really needed this today. I am really struggling because I think that I"m pregnant again and I don't have health insurance. We got it for my husband but it was too expensive for my daughter and I and we tend to stay pretty healthy. I lost a lot of sleep last night panicing and trying to give it to the Lord but I just keep taking it back. The visual you gave of the ram making it's way up the other side of the mountain was awesome! I know that new life is a wonderful thing, but more than that, I know that God has a plan that I can't always see, so I need to put my faith and my fears where they belong....in the hands of my Father, who is the author and perfecter of my faith!

Blogger Addie's Mommy said...

I really needed this today. I am really struggling because I think that I"m pregnant again and I don't have health insurance. We got it for my husband but it was too expensive for my daughter and I and we tend to stay pretty healthy. I lost a lot of sleep last night panicing and trying to give it to the Lord but I just keep taking it back. The visual you gave of the ram making it's way up the other side of the mountain was awesome! I know that new life is a wonderful thing, but more than that, I know that God has a plan that I can't always see, so I need to put my faith and my fears where they belong....in the hands of my Father, who is the author and perfecter of my faith!

Anonymous Dori said...

I had never seen Abraham's story this way. Never really paid any attention to the ram, that had to climb its way to the mountain too. Thanks for this devotional, is very uplifting for anyone whos faith is being tested.

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Awesome as usual!! Thank you so much, I share it with all my friend on FB!!!! That is so cool how God provides!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

I've lost my husband, my job, my food stamps all this week.

In the past two months, my husband confessed he is not a Christian, he cheated on me, and that he is a meth addict and has been since before we met. I do feel that my situation is hopeless.

I have 4 children who need me so i am not giving up.

God, bring the ram.

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

Oh Ms. Glynnis!

God gave you perfect timing with this post. My husband is scheduled to leave for Korea on the first of November for one year. He received the assignment in March and since then we have been that God cancel this assignment.

As Anton has done the necessary preparations for this assignment, I whined and complained to him that he was not trying hard enough to get out of the assignment. I even accused him of wanting to go.

He told me that he does not want to go, (which I knew this intellectually, but...), but he can't not do what the Air Force requires of him with this assignment.

I told him that if he really had faith that God would cancel the assignment then he would not be preparing for it, and guess what, he referred me to this very same passage!

Anton said that he has to walk in obedience. Abraham knew that God would provide, as we see that this is what he said to Issac when he asked, however, he did not sit back and do nothing. He did what was required for sacrifice all the way up to raising his hand to slay his son and at that moment, the last moment, after all the required preparations were done, God provided the ram.

I have to admit, I have battled with myself on not carrying out the thoughts I've had to sabbatoge this assignment. The closer the first of November gets without hearing God say, "Anton, you are not going to Korea. I have heard your family's requests to keep you all together," the weaker my faith grows along with sabbotaging thoughts coming in more abundance.

Pray for my weakeness and for our family please. Thank you so much for posting this.

smooches,
Larie

Blogger Edie said...

This was the first thing I read when I checked my email this morning. I can't tell you how much it spoke to my heart today. It was definitely God planned to help me see the bigger picture. I printed it out so I could put it in my journal. Thank you!

Anonymous Debbie said...

Glynnis,

I really, really love the visual of this! When I was single and 30, it occurred to me that somewhere, out "there," my future husband (Lord willing) was already walking the earth and I began to pray for him. ...like Abraham's ram, unseen, on the mountain. Four years later, I married him! ;)

God does indeed provide ... and in HIS perfect timing!

Thank you so much for this great reminder!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be my very favorite bible story. This just shows us how faithful or Savior is...if we only trust him we would see this in our own lives. That is so hard for me sometimes but thank the Lord I read this devotion today when I needed it the most. Thank you Lord for giving me the words I need to hear when I need to hear them.

Marybeth,
This is awesome! I would like permission to reprint it in our church newsletter.
Denise

Blogger Josephine said...

This is what I an my husband have been going through today. How real it feels. I feel thoroughly encouraged.
Josephine

Blogger N said...

That day of this devotional was a devestating day for me, my family and I found out the baby I was 10-11 weeks pregnant with died. I wish I had read this devotional that day, I think it would have carried me through. But God did provide, so much comfort and so much peace...in doing so, instead of my faith wavering, it grew. Thank you God for providing at all times! \0/ \o/ \O/

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