The “I AM” series tells the story of God - one name at a time. The Bible contains the stories of thousands of individuals who all searched for meaning, purpose, and an understanding of who they really were. And in discovering God’s identity, they discovered their own. Here we echo those discoveries with the tale of our own journeys to discover the great “I AM.”
I had just placed the last of my belongings into a five by ten storage unit, closed the massive orange door, locked it, and stood there.
I was alone in a cold empty building, concrete below my feet, and using every ounce of energy I had to prevent myself from collapsing on the floor.
I was angry, hurting, ashamed, and utterly confused. My perfectly beautiful life had gone up in flames like a certified dumpster fire. I had no job, no money, no home, and absolutely no idea what was going on or how this even happened.
The only thing I knew for a fact? Life as I knew it was over and I couldn’t change it.
This all started a few months before when an innocent date resulted in an assault. This was difficult enough let alone traumatic, but it led to something I never expected or knew how to handle: mania.
For roughly three months following, I lived in a manic state leaving a trail of destruction in my path. My body and mind had an involuntary reaction to trauma it could not manage. I made decisions, said things, and did things I never would have in my right mind. But that’s just the thing, I wasn’t in my right mind.
When the dust settled, I heard my diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder. I had no words. I just sat there in my psychiatrist’s office with a blank look on my face. I was confused and quiet, and my friends, quiet is not a word used to describe me.
As you can imagine, it felt as though everything I had or knew collapsed, and in many ways all of that was true.
When chosen, a fresh start in life may feel freeing and exciting. “Let’s go on an adventure. The world is your oyster. You only live once!” But let me tell you, I’ve gone on plenty of those adventures, and with 100% certainty, this was not that.
This path was forced by circumstances out of my control: a person out to harm and a disease I didn’t know I had. Yet now it was up to me to figure out how to move forward.
The world felt dark, the weight practically unbearable, yet I wasn’t alone and God was anything but done with me.
As I have learned over the years, when things look to be their worst, God oftentimes is up to his best. However, before I tell you more, let’s look at a story in the Bible in the book of Genesis.
Here we stumble upon Abraham in the later years of his life, in a situation I classify as confusing, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and a list of other adjectives most of us would prefer to never experience in our lives.
The short version of the story goes: Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. To be clear, when I say sacrifice this means to kill. To most, this should seem rather disturbing but know this: God did not intend for Abraham to kill Isaac.
Abraham was not aware of this at the time, but he did believe God would provide even if it meant God raising his son from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).
I have no idea how Abraham had faith in these moments, but sure enough, at what feels like the last moment, God showed up. He sent a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac and Abraham literally called that place “The Lord Will Provide.” (Genesis 22:14 NIV)
The Lord Will Provide or Jehovah Jireh is the phrase written in Hebrew. Interestingly enough, this is the only time God is called this in all of the Bible and it directly follows what I see as some of the most unbearable days of Abraham’s life.
Another way to translate Jehovah Jireh, I think helps us to paint an even clearer picture. It can simply mean or be read: “The Lord sees” or better yet, “The Lord will see it through.”
Let that sink in, the Lord will see it through. He will see YOU through.
It doesn’t matter what it is or who you are.
He is the God who provides in all ways and on all days, but especially in the “I don’t know what’s going on, please help me, Jesus, my heart is going to fall out of my chest, I can’t do this but I’m trying to trust you” moments. Because when Abraham says "Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Will Provide," that is the depth and breadth and heart of what he declares.
It’s been three years since the day I closed that orange door and friends, God saw me through.
Was it easy? Absolutely not. Did he send an instant miracle and make everything better? Nope. But he made a way, day by day and week by week.
Eventually, weeks turned into months, surviving turned into thriving, and the life I live now? Better and more beautiful than I ever imagined.
So this Thanksgiving, if you find yourself looking around wondering if God is actually going to show up or if he’s even listening, I’d encourage you to remember and pray the words of Abraham, “Jehovah Jireh.”
God is our Provider. It may not appear in a way you’d expect or a way that makes an ounce of sense at first, but I promise and I know with every bone in my body: he loves you, he sees you and he will always see you through.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends, and may the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine be near to you and yours today and always.
Beka Joy Hull is a writer, speaker and consultant from Dallas, TX. She is passionate about using her voice to talk about the goodness of God, as well as helping organizations thrive. You’ll often find her telling a random story, laughing or spending time with her feisty pup, Cha Cha.