"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. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” ~ Genesis 22:13-14
The Lord revealed many lessons to me while on the mission trip to Zambia, Africa. One of the lessons He started teaching me prior to the trip, as I was in the throes of fundraising and preparing financially for the trip.
As I started raising funds back in June, my husband said to me that he didn't see how we could afford the trip. With me not working, and having a family of four children who had grown fond of eating, money was tight. But when I prayed about it, I had the sense from God that if He commissioned it, He would provide it.
So He started laying this phrase on my heart: "I AM the Provider and the Provision." I knew what He meant by Provider -- all things come from Him. But I wasn't quite sure what He meant by being the Provision.
The first weekend in Africa, we went on a cultural walk through a local village. The little hut-houses were made with mud and straw blocks, and the roofs were made out of thatch tightly braided and woven together to shed water during the upcoming rainy season. The village hosted a good many women and children, and I assumed the men were working the fields around the village.
As I bent down to walk-crawl through the small doorways of huts, the pride of what they had was evident on the women's faces. By American standards, they would be considered way below the poverty line. One lady pointed to a hand-made, make-shift cabinet on which sat two pots and a few mismatched plates and cups -- and that is all she had except for the sheets stretched across the hut to make a bedroom for her small bed, which she shared with her children.
You come to a cultural walk like this with a certain arrogance....an arrogance thinking God will humble you, thinking you have it so well back in the States, while all the time thinking you have it better.
I learned those ladies in that village have it all.
As I asked for permission to take a photo of another hut, the lady smoothed her dress, smiled and said to me, "I do not have much....but I have Jesus. He is all I need."
Immediately when that beautiful woman, holding a baby on her back in a chitenga, said that to me, the Lord's quiet, still voice echoed through my heart: "I AM the Provider....I AM the Provision."
Abraham went to the mountain to sacrifice his son, Isaac. While there, the boy looked around and noticed the knife, the firewood, the fire...but did not see the sacrifice. Abraham, most likely with a knot in his throat, hoarsely said, "the Lord Himself will provide the burnt offering, my son." At the moment that Abraham raised the knife to kill his son, an angel stopped him -- and the bleating of a ram, caught in the thickets by his horns, caught Abraham's attention.
Jesus provided the way to God the Father as He even was that Provision. Jesus, his head covered in a crown of thorns much like the ram stuck fast in the sharp, thorny thickets by his horns, was the Provision for a sinful world, even as He was providing that sacrifice. He is the Provider and the Provision.
I learned in Africa I do not need the latest thing. My shopping excursions have dropped tremendously since then (much to my husband's delight). If ladies in an African village, who prayed for a clean well, a home for their school teacher, and for a church building, can be content....I should be too. All we need is Jesus....and if we have Him, He is all we need.
~ Terrie Bentley McKee
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