Looking for the Ram

I have been doing a Bible reading plan through an app called Bible360. I continually struggle with Word time, so these structured plans with themes like marriage, grief, and faith, have been invaluable. An interesting thing has occurred the last few days as I have delved into three different plans; the Bible in a year, Faith, and Essentials 100 – one hundred important Bible passages. Within 24 hours, I was directed to the exact same chapter of Genesis by all three plans. Coincidence?

If you have children, you are probably quite familiar with the need for repetition to be heard. God is nodding emphatically as I write this. As my heavenly Father, He seems to have to repeat everything to me. Again. And again. And again. And again. And again. This time, it only took three times.

Genesis 22. One of the most profound examples of faith in human history. Abraham, in complete obedience and faith, comes within seconds of sacrificing his precious son Isaac. The Lord stops him and then provides another sacrifice. From this encounter, a new name arises for the Lord- Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.

The application of this lesson to one of the most central events of my life this year, our adoption of Xiaotong, seems obvious. Hardly something The Father would have to reinforce three times in the same day. Every single week, sometimes several times a week, since we embarked on this journey six months ago, there has been paperwork snags, increased fees, newly imposed deadlines, rule changes, misinformation, unresponsive parties to critical issues, cold, immoveable bureaucracies, and a seemingly unrelenting deluge of forms and documents to complete. So many times, my faith and endurance have been tested far beyond my capabilities. With all the trials, tragedies, dark valleys, and huge undertakings I have faced, including two very difficult adoptions, I rarely, if ever considered quitting. But this last six months, it seemed like the only option not just once, but on four different occasions. What a huge faith builder to have Jehovah Jireh respond in each of those desperate moments.

So why the message of Genesis 22 now?

As described above, we have seen many mountains move from our path to Xiaotong. But at this moment, we are gazing up at one so huge, it dwarfs the others. We are almost $18,000 short of what we need to go China and bring our daughter home. When we started this process, I drained the last of my retirement- $43,000. Based on the information we were given, this would be enough to cover it.

But fee increases and additional paperwork have slowly bled this to barely enough to buy plane tickets. In-China travel costs, orphanage and adoption fees, and US government fees remain. We HAVE to travel in September. In October, there is almost no travel because it is a significant holiday season in China, making travel very expensive and the adoption paperwork processing nearly impossible. November is too late. Our eligibility expires. So we are faced with the daunting task of getting this money in a matter of weeks.

We have tried re-financing our house but short sales and foreclosures have caused the value of our house to plummet. I have applied for grants from several agencies but hard economic times have taken a toll on these charities as well. An on-line silent auction and a yard sale are other options but having a full time job doesn’t allow the time or energy needed to make these successful enough to raise a significant amount.

I am looking for the ram. I cannot believe God would bring us this close to our daughter and then take her away from us. I am trying to muster at least enough faith to overcome the nausea and feeling of near-panic every time I consider walking up this mountain and maybe not finding the provision we need.

So I am asking you, my friends and family to pray for us- for His provision but mostly for faith. I believe, help my unbelief. I need the faith to believe He is capable and will do it. Honestly, I also need the strength to do what I can to raise this money.

If you would like to donate or participate in the silent auction, I will be providing a link to do so. But most of all, we ask for your prayerful support.

“The Revelation of the Name Jehovah-Jireh, Genesis 22:12-14. The meaning of this name is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. ImageOne Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac’s place. For us it is whatever we need.” Emory Nester


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