This is going to sound very weird to some of you, but for the longest time I’ve had this weird, negative vibe thing going with one of the names of God that we learn back in the book of Genesis: Jehovah-Jireh or God provides/sees. I would like to blame it on the pseudo-religiosity I saw and imitated in my youth. I’d love to blame it on the fact that the Name had its own song, and people would always say, “God will provide brother. He is Jehovah-Jireh!” (They meant well, I know they did. Shoot, I meant well too.) Truth is, I just simply didn’t have any idea of what I was talking about.
There’s a difference between repeating religious dogma and verbiage and knowing something from an intimacy that has developed through time walking with God. I would sing the song and agree that yes, God does provide. But I didn’t own it. I didn’t truly know it from personal experience. And now, with a perspective that only time can afford, I can say with experiential knowledge, “Yes, our God is Jehovah-Jireh.”
Like Abraham who “coined the phrase,” more often than not, it is in time of trial and great need that we come into intimate communion with the God who sees and provides. The problem is that we tend to avoid the places in which God would choose to reveal himself to us. To our own detriment we seek deliverance from the “valley of death” when it is the very tool by which God would bring us into greater revelation of himself. As we walk through uncertain times, enduring hardship, and the pain of not being able to see; we come to know the God who does see and provides.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”