“The Lord Will Provide”

Genesis 22:1-14

The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

So Abraham named that place, “The Lord will provide.”  With those words from the last line of this morning’s Old Testament lesson, Abraham gave a beautiful name to a terrible spot; naming the place of the most frightening crisis of his life, “The Lord will provide.”

And, while I cannot speak for you, I can say that, in my own    experience, I have found what Abraham said, concerning his own life, to be true as well, for myself, and many others; in the darkest and most difficult of life’s struggles and battles, the Lord does provide.

Which is not to say that God will always step in at the last minute with a miraculous rescue, as God did in this morning’s lesson from the book of Genesis.  However, while God does not always give us the     protection we want, God does give us the support we need; the strength to keep going, the courage to do the next right thing, the people we need to comfort us, support us, and keep us on our feet until we can make it through what we did not get to go around.

The Lord does, indeed, provide; if not rescue, then courage, if not healing and relief, then new strength for each new day; the strength we need to live into, through and beyond, struggles so difficult that, if someone had told us ahead of time we were going to have to face, we would have sworn we would never make it through.

All of which calls to mind that unforgettable sentence of William Sloane Coffin’s, who, in his first sermon after the tragic death of his son, said, “This time, God gave us minimum protection, and maximum support.” 

Which is, so often, the case.  So often, what we get in this life is not protection from sorrow, but support in sorrow; the strength, the courage, and the people we need to help us go through what we did not get to go around; all gifts from God, who, as Abraham said, does provide; if not what we hoped to have, then, what we have to have to see us through the wonderful thing God might have done, but did not do.

Either way, whether it is the protection we hoped to have, or the support we have to have, thanks be to God, the Lord does provide.