So week two is here in our journey of the reality of “unthinkable circumstances” in our life. If you missed it for 8 or 9 weeks I will be posting on Fridays relating to the Bible Study, “When I Lay My Issac Down” by Carol Kent. Some brave women are joining me on Wednesday nights for a “live” discussion and others are joining us via the Internet and this blog. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in with their thoughts and experiences. We can all learn and receive hope from each other whether you are officially doing the Bible Study or not.
“Unthinkable circumstances = circumstances that derail our carefully thought-out plans for our future.”One of the questions that usually comes up is, “why Lord?” I never really struggled with that one personally. In fact I really didn’t ask alot of questions. My reaction was to talk to God alot like this, “okay God. I’ve told everyone that knows me that YOU are a BIG LOVING God. I need YOU to show up here are PROVE IT! I need YOU to take care of my family, NOW! (yes, you do hear attitude there) Others ask why or why now. It helped me to remember that this situation was not a surprise to God. One of God’s many names is El Roi (Genesis 16:13-14) The God who sees me. He is watching me. He knows all about everything that is going on.
Now with that in mind the main point of this weeks time is to learn to relinquish our situation to God. Carol says, ” relinquishment means giving up my rights to control the person, dream, expectation, or preferred outcome of the object of my concern.” What are you trying to control? In the midst of my circumstances I desperately tried to keep some sort of “normalcy” in my families life. I didn’t want our life to be completely focused on our situation. That really was pretty ridiculous. There was just too much going on at once for anything else to try to pretend it wasn’t happening. Other gals told me they tried to control the other person involved. “If I’m just more attentive and always look my best they will love me” Or “I’ll just work harder. That will “fix” this.” Or “I’ll give them a little more time and they will come back.”
Again quoting Carol Kent, “When we release our grasp, our relinquishment puts a stop to our manipulation of other people and releases the Holy Spirit to do the supernatural through the power of prayer.” After some time had passed I could see this clearly. I, personally tried everything I could think of to “help” my husband handle his life. However, in the end, the crash came, harder and longer than it really needed to be. It’s a hard question to ask yourself, but it’s time to ask. Could I be interfering with something the Lord is trying to accomplish?
Carol uses the story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice Issac as our main theme. The story is found in Genesis 22:1-18. She points out that in verse 3 it says, “early the next morning” Abraham arose and started out. Really? She says she thinks she would have stayed in bed till noon hoping that God would change His mind. Abraham was so…obedient and trusting of God. So as the group of us talked about this some shared of having “moments” of trusting God with their situation. We shared ways to remind us that God is there, caring for us even when we don’t see it right away. Journaling, telling a friend, some little reminder “rock” that can be seen by you in your everyday life. A reminder of one time that you can identify that God came through for you and you know it. Build on that memory. We also talked about the fact that this is a process, a journey. Rarely does anyone “lay their Isaac down” and never pick him back up again. But every time you do, you allow God to do “His thing”.
In the original text of the Bible the word for “lay” actually means to “lift up”. By laying our “Isaac” down we are actually lifting our sacrifice to the Lord in an act of worship. We are acknowledging that God is God and everything belongs in His hands. Will you “lay your Isaac down?” (even just for a moment?)