Ram in the Thicket


This is where I start. I seek my voice – my narrative. My fingers are hesitant to press black keys. My heart retreats with fear if someone pulls at the frayed edges I might just rip open & bleed. I do not take rejection well. Yet, I start here. In this space I put down roots & nourish my wings. I don’t try to be anything other than little ole’ me – like it or not.

I want the deep past the fear, the wellspring that bursts full of joy. There is extraordinary in the ordinary that is all around us. I am narrative. I speak with a cadence all my own. I traverse the great mysteries that my unique journey has given to me. I am rich & full & complete. I hold cadence with kings, queens, priests, priestesses – angels unaware – in the guise of friends & family.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” 1 Peter 2:9

The prayer I have been praying for my sisters is that God will provide their ‘ram in the thicket’. I often wake in the wee hours of the morning anxiety laden. In these moments when fear grips me tight, heart pounding out of my chest, the heavy weight of this broken world crushing, my lips usher desperate groans to the Father. It is rarely complex, but often richly to the point. One evening I began to pray for myself…Lord provide my ‘ram in the thicket’, oh, Lord please, provide my ‘ram in the thicket’, Jesus, Lord…provide…oh Father, Great Provider provide my ‘ram in the thicket’. Over & over these words flowed from my lips. As I prayed my prayers tuned to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat for my sisters. These two amazing captivating women who God graciously put in my life were in need. They needed this prayer also.

You need. This prayer is for you. We all need our ‘ram in the thicket’. We don’t trust God. I don’t trust Him. I hold Him at a distance until I feel so desperate I break down & plead with Him to clean up the shattered mess I have made. I struggle with His goodness because my heart feels He has let me down. Yet, I am looking at it askew. God gives us all good things because He is all the good we need. He has always – forevermore will – provide.

Ann Voskamp says:

“Is Jesus merely useful to you – or is He ultimately beautiful to you?

When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world. When Jesus is ultimately beautiful to me, it’s my heart that is moved & this begins to change the world.”

The beautiful thing about God is that as the words leave my mouth He has already provided the ‘ram in the thicket’. It is there. It always has been. It always will be. God never backs out of a promise. He always comes through.

We may have mountains of anxiety, heartache, anger, addiction, selfishness, or self-righteousness. We climb them feeling alone, nursing our hurts. He has provided the ‘ram in the thicket’.

As we chop the wood for the sacrifice wondering if our sacrifice will be all we hold dear. As we reconcile our dreams may never be a reality. The promise, we feel, is being ripped from our beings & we are certain we will not survive. He has provided the ‘ram in the thicket’.

As we lay the wood on the altar & bind our heart to flame – willing to be consumed. He has provided the ‘ram in the thicket’.

When we see it, horns caught in the bramble of the thicket, lungs exhale & feet give way. We are on Holy Ground – We Worship! He has provided the ‘ram in the thicket’.

Oh, we are His beloved. He can be trusted. It is His delight. It is His love language.

He has provided the ‘ram in the thicket’.

 

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.  5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad[a] and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.  7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.  14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide;[b] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” – Genesis 22: 1-14

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