School started today.
I load up my two kids with book bags, lunches and enough school supplies to make a mule stagger.
My eighth grade daughter walks to the bus stop on on her own. (It’s soooo not cool, you know, for mom to tag along in middle school.) I watch her, forehead to glass, from our upstairs window. She turns three times to look back with a strange smile on her face, a mix of excitement for something new and longing. For the loss of summer freedom? For home? I wonder as I watch her go, aware that time is passing quickly. Much too quickly.
Driving my Alec to middle school for the first time today, he sits beside me with eyes fixed on the road, a little man of few words.
“Are you excited?”
“Nervous? A little nervous, too?”
“Nah,” he says and gives me the same strange smile that I saw on Elise’s face. Well, I’m nervous for you.
I drop off my boy in his unfamiliar school and watch him disappear into the doors. Gone from my sight, I’m strangely aware that I stand at an altar. My kids are climbing their own mountains towards destinies that are not my own … and I must let them go. I must lay down my two Isaacs and trust God to care for them.
How to Lay Down an Isaac
Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham’s journey to Mount Moriah, following God’s instruction to sacrifice his beloved Isaac there. Moriah is the place where Solomon would one day build the temple of God. The place of God’s presence.
It’s a difficult story, isn’t it? Why would God give such a terrible directive? Yet there is a message of hope in this story that calls us to take a closer look.
In verse 5, Abraham says to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
We will come back to you …
As they climbed the mount, Isaac notices that there was no sacrifice for the altar. When the boy asks his father about it, Abraham responds (in verse 8), “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
God will provide the sacrifice…
How could Abraham climb that mountain and lay down his child? A child that he and Sarah had built their lives around? Their miracle child?
Here is how Abraham was able to let go of Isaac: He believed the promises of God.
In Genesis 21:12, God promised, “for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.” Abraham never let go of the promise that God would bless him through Isaac.
Abraham believed that God is faithful.
He believed that God would honor His promise.
He believed that God would provide.
So Abraham could lay down his precious, beloved son, fully entrusting Isaac to God’s care.
And so can we.
We, like Abraham, can trust God to keep His promises. He is our Jehovah Jirah, our Great Provider.
Let go of the fear and take hold of God’s promises.
Here are a few promises for you today:
Psalm 27:13: I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Mark 9:23-23: ”If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Deuteronomy 31:8: The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”