Today’s Daily Bread ~ The Pretzel Solution

9 Jun

Genesis 22:1-2 – Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience.  “Abraham!” God called.  “Yes,” he replied.  “Here I am.”  “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.”

Every seasoned mother with small children knows that you don’t leave the house for any significant period of time without snacks.  I’ve seen fathers make this rookie mistake (no judgment) more than once, but moms intrinsically know – gone more than an hour, bring snacks.

The delicacy of choice at my house is usually goldfish or pretzels, simply because they’re easy and relatively mess free, save the crumbs.  My daughter, proudly boasting five and-a-half years of age (although she’s generous to add that “half”), and tall enough to reach the treat shelf, often beats me to the task.  Case in point: a few days ago.

I scurried downstairs, running late as usual, and there were my two children, filling zip-lock baggies full-to-bursting with pretzels.  “Wow, thank you kids!” I exclaimed.  “What a good job!”

At that very moment, Caitlyn tore the pretzel bag from top to bottom in her attempt to stuff a few more in her already overflowing baggie.  The result: an immediate melt-down.

“Mommy,” she wailed, “I broke it!  I BROKE IT!”  “Mommy, Caitlyn broked it,” chimed my son.

“Honey, it’s okay.” I said, “Let mommy take a look.”  I surveyed the damage as my daughter continued to carry on.

I calmly strode to pantry and extracted a half-gallon zip-lock freezer bag, perfect for an emergency such as this.  I transferred the remaining pretzels to their new home, and smiled at my daughter.  “See?” I said, “All fixed.”

“Mommy, I never even thought of that!  How did you think to do that?”  “Oh, I’ve ripped a bag or two in my day,” I replied, and chuckled to myself.  What seemed impossible to Caitlyn was simple to me.

Genesis 22:6-8 – Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire.  As the two of them went on together, Isaac said, “Father?”  “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied.  “We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”  “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answeredAnd they both went on together.

God will provide a lamb.  It is well within the nature of God to allow our circumstances to reach a place of utter hopelessness, so that He might provide the hope.  What we deem impossible, He calls simple.  Time after time, Scripture paints a picture of God providing the perfect solution at the perfect time.  The common denominator?  Simple faith in a great God.

Wine running out at a wedding party?  “Fill the jars with water,” Jesus says.  And the master of ceremonies declares that it’s not just good wine, it’s the best wine (John 2:10).

A crowd of hungry Hebrews with little to no resources?  Easy.  Out of two fish and five loaves comes a feast with twelve baskets of leftovers (Matthew 14:20).

Twelve disciples in a rickety boat on a raging sea?  “Quiet down!” orders Jesus, and the wind stops in its tracks (Mark 4:39).

To Caitlyn, the ripped pretzel bag was the end of the story.  She saw no way out of the dilemma.  Her sweet, five year old mind can’t yet comprehend things of a complex nature.  Her problem solving skills are limited.  How much more then, are we unable to fathom the ways of an unfathomable God?

Isaiah 55:8 – “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

God promised Abraham more descendants than the stars in the sky.  And when that same God called him to sacrifice his little boy, he complied. 

Genesis 22:11 – At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”  “Yes,” he answered, “I’m listening.”  “Lay down the knife,” the angel said.  “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God.  You have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”  Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush.  So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son.

Did God really need to test Abraham to know the depth of his faith?  No.  He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.  All powerful, all knowing and all seeing.  God orchestrated the events so that Abraham would know, unequivocally and without a shadow of a doubt, that He and He alone provides all things.

Genesis 22:14 – Abraham named the place, “The LORD Will Provide.”                                      

Do your circumstances look insurmountable?  Stop looking around and look up.  Trust that the One who brought you to the fire will walk you through it.  Not sure what tomorrow holds?  The One who holds tomorrow whispers, Fear not.  I walk before you, beside you and behind you.  I will tell you when to go and when to rest.  I will carry you and see you through.  Trust in Me with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise Your Holy Name!  Thank You for reminding us that nothing is impossible for You, and that through Christ, we can do all things.  Help us to approach You with the trust of Abraham and the patience of Job.  Increase our faith.  Help us to cling to You at all times.  For those of us going through a period of testing or stormy weather, we ask You to quiet our fears.  For those of us in a period of blessing we ask that You would place people in our path that we could bless.  We love You.  We worship You.  Let everything we do serve to glorify You and magnify the name of Your precious Son.  It is in the beautiful name of Christ Jesus that we pray.  Amen.

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