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  • janetmchenry

Feeling Rammed with Finances?

Years ago when Craig proposed to me, I was a senior in college, and he was a first-year law school student. One of the crazy, random thoughts at that time that went through my brain was this:

“I’m going to marry a lawyer, and I’ll never have to worry about money.”

Well, as life turns out we still struggled to pay bills as we built a house and raised four kids in a rural town of just about 1,000. While business folks from our little town were MOST enthusiastic about a lawyer hanging up his shingle, they didn’t exactly rush through the door to have their legal needs met.

What I didn’t know was that dear hubby, as he told me many years into our marriage, only wanted to pursue the law to get enough money to buy farm land. His grandfather was a peach farmer; his father always wanted to farm but never did. And so . . . on the day after the birth of our third child, as I lay on the hospital bed holding my newborn son, I signed a promissory note for ranch land.

Eventually, the full-time lawyer became a full-time rancher. And his paralegal (me) became a teacher. We were so broke some years that our kids qualified for free lunch at school.

But did God provide for all of our needs? Yes.

Did we get bills paid? Yes.

And . . . here’s a biggie . . . did we get out of debt completely? Yes.

Despite the fact that neither of us has been very good with money, God has provided for each and every need–financial and otherwise.

It’s interesting in the Genesis 22 text about Abraham and Isaac that Abraham named the place where God provided the sacrifice “The Lord Will Provide.”

Here’s information about that name that is often translated “Jehovah Jireh”:

“The early Septuagint translation into Greek gives the meaning as ‘The Lord hath seen.’ One Latin version of the Christian Bible rendered the name in Latin as Dominus videt (‘The LORD sees’). The King James Version follows this meaning, as quoted above.

“Jewish translations of the verse into English include ‘And Abraham called the name of that place Adonai-jireh; as it is said to this day: “In the mount where the LORD is seen.”‘ – Genesis 22:14 (Jewish Publication Society translation of 1917)

“However, some modern translations, including the NIV, render it ‘the LORD will provide,’ amplifying the literal meaning along the lines of ‘the LORD will see to it,’ and referring to Abraham’s earlier words in 22:8, ‘God himself will provide the lamb.'” (Wikipedia)

So, in other words, God SEES our needs. And not only that he SEES TO IT. He cares. He recognizes our helplessness. And he doesn’t walk away disinterested. He makes a way to provide exactly what we NEED.

My problem over the years was that I would get muddled in my situation. I failed to be expectant about how God would meet our needs. I wasn’t #lookingup then. Abraham looked up from his situation (Genesis 22:13). The ram, the sacrifice, was caught in a thicket. And while God provided the sacrificial ram, it would not have been easy to get that creature out of its sticky situation. And even if it accepted help to get unstuck, it would not have been simple to wrestle such a horned and strong animal. The simple few words “went over and took the ram” (Genesis 22:13) are probably a euphemism. Abraham still had to actively participate in God’s provision.

I learned over the years to expect God to provide. He had given us a house and four kids. But I had to get out into the thicket of life and accept his provision for our livelihood. I had to work to contribute to our household–wrestle a bit with teenagers stuck in the thicket of research papers and literary analysis and persuasive essays. It was not easy raising four kids and working outside the home . . . but God provided the strength, expanded my intellect, and opened my heart to hundreds of others. And I loved knowing I was truly making a difference.

My Provider God will always meet me on the mount of my need when I offer up my work as worship. He will provide for each of my needs as I look up and about and around in the thickets of life. And he will fill the spaces of my heart and hands with all I truly need.

I will keep #lookingup to a God like that.

An author of 24 books, Janet McHenry is ordinary woman who serves an extraordinary God. She and her husband raised four children in the Sierra Valley, where her husband is a rancher. All of those children finished college, are happily married, and gainfully employed. She considers all of that a miracle. Janet would love to connect with you:

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