Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jehovah-Jireh

As I was feeding Ethan this morning and mindlessly watching the news, I completely remembered a situation that happened many months ago - while I was pregnant with Ethan. There was one night at church that I happened to stumble upon the story of Abraham and Isaac. I don't believe that's what the message was about, however, in my attempt to turn to the passage the preacher was preaching, I happened to stop at the story of Isaac. I knew the story quite well, but was intrigued all over again. I even leaned over to Adam and told him we should name Ethan, Isaac instead. I felt a strange feeling that I was linked to that story in a way I'd never felt before. I really and sincerely felt like I needed to name Ethan, Isaac. Not one to like change, my husband thought that Ethan was a perfectly good name and had already bonded with it for our son. I had as well, but for some reason I was sincerely drawn to Isaac in the Bible. Although my thoughts around Isaac and the baby I was carrying were very strong and strange, after that night, I never really gave it much thought.

Until this morning.

I've said before that I do not believe in coincidence. I now believe that God put Abraham and Isaac on my heart many months before we'd be (in a sense) living out that very trial that Abraham faced... the possibility that his one and only son would be taken from him... so that in this very moment, I'd recall the occurrence and be both encouraged and challenged.

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"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning... and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here... and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee..." Genesis 22:1-17

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All throughout this process, I've been very eager to know what the purpose is... and careful not to miss it. I've wondered what the Lord might have me to gain from this experience and whether or not I was paying attention to whatever He might be trying to tell/teach me. As I recalled the story of Abraham and Isaac this morning, I realized a significant difference between Abraham and myself. Abraham was willing to give his son back to God. I'm quite sure (from the perspective I now have as a parent) that Abraham was not at all looking forward to having to let go of his son. His only son. I'm sure his thoughts wandered all over the place and possibly even questioned "why" to himself. But according to the passage above, he didn't argue back with God. He accepted God's command and was intending to follow through, BUT at the same time believed that God was not going to ignore his faith and obedience.
ooooooooo
That's the difference between Abraham and myself. I've not released Ethan back into God's hands... whatever His will may be. Yes, I've given Ethan into His healing hands and have pleaded for a miracle, but I've withheld Ethan from the Lord in other ways. I've not wanted to truly mentally comprehend that Ethan's life may not be meant to serve the purposes and dreams that I had planned. My son's life has already held such purpose and meaning and he's only 15 weeks old. He has already touched more lives than most of us are able to do in a lifetime. I'm in such awe of that and so honored that I was chosen to be his mom. But, I've been hesitant to let go. I've been hesitant to give him back to God for whatever God has planned. I've not been able to bear the thought of not seeing him grow up. I've not been able to bear the idea that we might enter the dreaded situation in which parents have to bury their own child - when you always assume it will be the other way around. I've not been able to let go and let God - in every area of this situation. And today, I know that's what the Lord is asking of me. He asked it of Abraham. He asked it of Himself when he gave Jesus to the world. And He's asking it of me. Don't misunderstand... I'm not saying that God has "revealed" to me that Ethan won't live a long life here on earth. What I am saying, is that God has shown me the need to hand over everything to Him. My hopes for Ethan's life, my dreams for him... everything. And to trust Him with it all. That's what Abraham did, and he was in the same situation back then as Adam and I are in today... the need to have complete faith and trust that God's plan is out of love for us. Complete faith and trust that God rewards those who obey Him, love Him and believe in Him.
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Lord, you know that we are praying for a lifetime full of memories with Ethan. You know the desires of our hearts in that way. And you know how hard it is for me to let go of the ideas of those things. And though I know you have given me nothing but hope for Ethan's survival, I also know that you're asking me to surrender to Your will no matter what. That is so hard for me as even now I have a tear-stained face. But I do. Just as many mothers before me have done, and many mothers after me will do. I give you my son. My beautiful boy is Yours. He's always been Yours. But I need to acknowledge that before You... and I do that now. You know how hard this is for me, but I know that nothing is too hard for You. That's why I continue to ask that you spare my son, just as you did Isaac. I trust you. I trust your decisions. I trust your plan. And I know that Your grace, Your provision, Your strength, Your joy and Your favor will be ours regardless. Thank You, Lord. Thank you for holding us all so tightly in Your hands. Amen.

I chose "Jehovah-Jireh" as the title of today's post, as it is another one of God's names. It means "the Lord will see and the Lord will provide".

See and provide, Lord. See and provide.

11 comments:

Marge said...

Kasey,

I just read what Adam wrote you on May 1. That thrilled me to hear what a beautiful couple you are. Just how blessed you are to have each other. It sure will stay that way as you both keep God first in your lives. It sure looks like He will stay there Praise God.

I don’t know you but I have met your dad. Two other ladies and myself was just getting out of the handicap van at church and he came out and asked the driver if he could help. Then after church. he told me how they came to Connecticut to be with their daughter. Isn’t God Good. I hope to meet your mom some time.

Any how just meeting your dad I can see how you became what you are. Well have a great day in the lord. If you can give Ethan a kiss for me

Love
Marge

Bryana said...

Hey Kasey! I havn't written in awhile- so I gave myself permission :) You are such an encouragement to me! You open my eyes to see things differently! We continue to pray for Ethan as well as you and Adam! It was so nice seeing you the other day and just chatting! We all miss you! I will give you a call and let you know the plans for Thursday (as soon as I know what they are!) And hopefully we can see you then! "God, Continue to bless their sweet baby boy!" Bryana

Anonymous said...

Kasey, I should never wear mascara when I'm reading your posts!! You truly have challenged me to "live out" the Bible! God is using you and Adam for His Glory! It was great to see you in church the other night, although I was sad I didn't get to chat with you--hopefully soon I can. We're praying every day for sweet baby Ethan and his sweet mommy and daddy. Love, Molly

Anonymous said...

I met Adam in high school and then obviously kept up with him at BJ. When I heard about your sweet little guy through a mutual friend, my heart was touched with your need. I quickly found your blog, and I am a faithful reader. My family and I are praying for God's grace for you and Adam, for wisdom for Ethan's doctors, and for His will in Ethan's life. I wanted to tell you that little Ethan's life and your honesty about your struggle as a young mother going through this trial has been such a blessing and a challenge to me in my walk with God. Your testimony is so sweet, and I feel blessed to be your sister in Christ.

Your post today was especially sweet. I remember so vividly 11 years ago, when my Mom was in a diabetic coma, hearing my Dad pray one night that if it was God's will to take my Mom home that God would give Him the grace to serve Him joyfully alone. I marvelled that night, and I like you have always marvelled at the story of Abraham and Isaach. The Lord spared my mom's life that night (a miracle in the viewpoint of all her doctors) and gave us 10 more wonderfulyears with her before He took her to be with Him. And since my Mom's death, I have truly seen God's grace in my Dad's life in the ability to continue to serve Him with joy and peace!

I appreciate that you continue to pray for God's healing Hand on Ethan's body as you give Him completely and wholly to God and His will for your family and little Ethan's life. May God continue to give you and Adam His peace which passeth all understanding.

Thank you again for your testimony, and we will continue to pray.

Because of His love,
Carrie Knott

Carrie Comstock said...

Thank you for being so candid and sharing your heart with all of us.
Continuing to pray for a miracle.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your honesty. i think God wants all of us to get to that point of giving all up to Him for whatever He wants to do. especially our children. they are His already given to us to raise for a time. but being a mom and knowing the absolute love that a mother has, it is hard to say "whatever" Lord. someday in Heaven when we see Christ face to face, we will know the whys of this life. (if that is what God intends) keep pressing on.
Philippians 4:6-7
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

michelle from michigan

Anonymous said...

"I will praise You if You answer 'Yes'. I will praise You if You answer 'No'. I will praise You regardless. For Your Glory."

Ethan HAS touched so many lives, Kasey! His life, this trial, is not in vain because you are doing what God is asking of you. And He knew you would...that's why He chose you to be Ethan's mommy. Not just anyone would praise Him, seek Him, trust Him through so much pain. He chose you... He chose Adam.

Jehovah-Jireh will supply and provide!

Anonymous said...

You have people praying for your family that you've never even met. Keep on believing, rest in the arms of Jesus.
Sister in Christ-
Rebecca

Kim Jones said...

Kasey,

Please know that you are all in my prayers daily. All of the Jones' are prayin' hard for little Ethan. I have spread the word to all of my friends and they are praying as well.

I loved your blog today. Jehovah-Jireh - God is our Healer. In our kindergarten classes, we learn some of the names of God. One of the most difficult for them to process is Jehovah Jireh. We learn that God heals bodies, minds and hearts. He only asks for obedience. You guys are doing that - stay strong and hold firm to the grace God gives you.

Kim Jones
DeSoto, TX

Moz & Pam said...

Kasey, I marvel again and again at the depth of your spiritual maturity & your transparency. God is using you in ways you cannot imagine in many, many lives all over the country & around the world. Keep up the good fight! We love you three!

huntsouth said...

Dear Kasey,
Time-this concentrated time that you've been given, during which, even though you still need to do the laundry and wash dishes and change diapers-is being blessed in many ways. I, for one, very often rush through my days quite heedlessly and selfishly. Time has been somewhat distilled for you and you have used it wisely, so it is a help to us. Thank you for sharing what God can do if we take the time to listen. Adam, we know that you're right in the heart of all of this. God bless you all. Love Amy Hunt