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The Research: A New Perspective on Faith, Part 4

by | Jun 21, 2021 | A New Perspective on Faith, Faith, Sacrifice, Surrender

My son, a PhD student, had fallen behind on his research. Much of this was due to a major comprehensive exam that, complicated by the fact that the university closed down due to COVID-19, took almost two semesters to complete. As a result, he was unable to meet his research paper deadlines for the year. Then, days after the exam was finally completed, a foreign student and good friend in my son’s research group suffered a tragic death in the family. He reached out to help, and once again, he had to lay aside his own research. 

As a mom, I worried. I had worried about his research and lack of research papers through the entire comprehension semesters, and I, for one, was pretty happy when the exam was over. Then came the death… Oh God, the timing couldn’t have been worse! How on earth will he ever be able to catch up? How will he be able to finish his program before his grant money runs out? Why can’t You clear the way for him to focus on his research?

With my faith reaction to this minor situation so weak, I would definitely have fallen apart in Abraham’s shoes. Abraham waited so long for the fulfillment of his promised son. I most certainly would have had many dips in my faith during those 25 years; but then, when the boy was in his teens, God gave Abraham a strange command: “Take your son, your only son — yes, Isaac, whom you love so much — and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” (Genesis 22:2 NLT).

Wait. What? He was to sacrifice — kill — the very son he had waited 25 years to receive?

Yes, at this point, my faith would have been nothing but dust. I’m ashamed to admit that I would never be able to sacrifice the answer to a 25-year prayer! I mean, if I worry so much about my son’s research, how could I have ever even considered laying down my “Isaac”?

Yet, this is, to a somewhat smaller scale, what my son did, isn’t it? In giving those weeks of undevoted time to his friend, time that he didn’t have to give, he was, in essence, finding himself in the same boat as Abraham. And unlike me, my son willingly laid his “baby” down. Why?

Because he knew something in his heart… The same something that Abraham knew… “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac,even though God had told him, ‘Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” (Heb. 11:17-19 NLT). Abraham believed that God would give him Isaac back. And in a similar way, my son believed that God would give him the lost time back. He took God at His word when He said, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” ( 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT)

Where did that leave me?

I had a choice to make: I could either continued in my worry and doubt, or I could join the ranks of my son — And Abraham of old! — and take a stand in faith that my son’s research would be completed — Right on time!

What about you? What are you having trouble laying down on the altar? Is it something small, like me, or is it something much bigger that God is asking you to lay down? Whatever it is, what will your answer be?

Let’s exercise Abraham-like faith. Let’s take God at His word! Never forget His promise to us through the prophet Malachi: “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.” (Mal. 3:10-11 NLT). Whatever it is God is asking you to do, do not hesitate to comply. Instead, cast aside the worry and doubt and stand on the Truth of God’s word that He will not only provide you with everything you need, but the blessings will be so great that you won’t have enough room to take it all in!

In His love,
Lyn
 

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire “A New Perspective on Faith” mini-series, please click here!)

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