God spoke to Abraham and gave him a command to sacrifice his son. This was the son of promise from God. Abraham was faithful and followed the command. He gathered wood for the sacrifice, took a couple of servants and his son Isaac and headed off to worship God. Isaac must have understood enough about worship to know a lamb was needed for the sacrifice. He asked where the lamb was, and Abraham responded that God would provide. Once there, Abraham built an altar and bound his son. As he was about to slay his son, God stopped him. God saw his faithfulness. He then provided a ram stuck in a thicket. Because of his faith and obedience, every nation is blessed. It is through this lineage that the Savior will be born.
Is perspective a choice?
What is pain management? A process that alleviates or reduces the amount of pain one experiences. Pain has a wide range. It could be from mild to moderate pain. Or some might say their pain is excruciating to agonizing. Even perceiving pain has a wide range of avenues in our lives. We can experience mental anguish, physical ailments, or even emotional scars. The question is, how do we deal with our pain. Do we turn to the wrong coping mechanisms? Do these mechanisms then turn into compulsions? And finally, we have full-fledged addictions? Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. If you have something going on mentally, physically, or emotionally seek help. I am saying that we often attempt to dull our senses, so we don’t have to deal with the pain of what is happening around us.
If we are in a situation and we see a path of least resistance, how often do we take that path? In this passage of scripture, Abraham was given a path. Being a father, I don’t think this path is the path of least resistance. But I see it was a path of obedience. A path that was managing pain. When God instructed Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, I can only imagine his pondered thoughts. Isaac was a promise from God, and now he would be sacrificed as a burnt offering. Will God raise Isaac back from the dead? How is this going to bring about the promise of many descendants? Why must I give up my son? Why me, why this?
His faithfulness is a choice
What Abraham was thinking did not stop his faithful obedience to God. He displayed something I struggle with within my life. Having the proper perspective. To Abraham, the pain of offering his son as a burnt offering was less than the pain of not following God’s commands. Ouch! So, in studying my bible, I see where God has given commands and instructions for a way of life that is pleasing to Him. And if I choose to ignore or be blinded to the truth of these commands and instructions, my pain management is about me. “God, I don’t want to face the truth of who You are. So, I’m going to try and fill my life with XYZ.” It’s easier for me this way.
In reality, I have a choice of sacrificing what I put between God and me. God: You know when you eat all that food. Including all those desserts. You are trying to find peace and hope in something I created instead of turning to Me. When you’re having a bad day, you want to eat cookies or cake and wash it down with a big glass of milk. Turn to me instead. Tell me about your day. Please tell me where you’re struggling. I can handle it; I will comfort you. You will get through it with my strength, and I will turn your pain into something beautiful. Just look at My Son, Jesus!
How are you managing your pain? Are you making the choice of turning inward with your pain? Trying to find the next thing that will dull your pain. Abraham embraced it. He was going to follow through, and God said I will handle your pain because you held nothing back. I will provide a sacrifice so that you don’t have to.
Father, change my perspective on life. I want to turn to the creator instead of the created when dealing with the pains of life. Teach me to see in every moment that the pain of not knowing you, following you, or believing you is far greater than anything else. Amen.