Monday, January 05, 2009

Growing Weary....Encouragement from Hagar, an unlikely source


While reading Genesis I really looked at Hagar, Sarah's Maidservant, just as a tired mom. Early one morning Hagar is cast out from her home with Sarah & Abraham...

"Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt." Genesis 21:14-22

I cannot even imagine what it must of been like for to be in the middle of the desert lost and without direction, water, hope and a young child. Then at the moment when she has given up the Lord spoke hope into her heart! She continued and the Word then tells us that God was with her child and because she was obedient the child grew into a great (as in large) nation (Islamic world).

Though I have read that passage several times I had not found encouragement in it nor did I expect to find a blessing in a woman I previously perceived as a curse. But the Lord did bless this woman with a child, provision and his presence.

Recently , I have wanted to sit down and place our children under a bush and sob too: "Lord this is too hard, my yoke is heavy." Child training can be so hard, time consuming and even isolating. It's hard when you feel like your prayers are going unanswered. When you continue to identify additional behaviors in children that are not righteous but scornful or selfish. But as time goes by I think I am learning to wait on God's timing to remember we are training them up and that my younger children are not yet saved. Thus, sinners sin and as I am not training for external obedience but instead for righteousness the path is not easy.
Still the Lord is faithful each day the Lord has been telling me: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 So each day I have trudged on, on the path the Lord has laid before me, still seeing very little progress. Yet the Lord has been faithful to remind me through my friend Kim B. that child rearing is hard work, and in his still quiet voice that I should not grow weary.
Now, how wonderful of the Lord to show me that he is my hope and that he should be my focus. "Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water". Which reminds me of the woman at the well where Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14 The word tells us that God is the living water and if we drink from Him we will never thirst. So I too like Hagar will stop sobbing about her situation and in focused prayer continue ahead drinking from the Lords spring. Knowing God will complete the work started in her, in me and in my children.

Praise be to a faithful and everlasting God!
RH

1 comment:

lisasmith said...

Ooooo, this is so good...I too ended 2008 weary, asking God why is this thing called parenting so hard? But he came and met me too just like Hagar...God tells her to name her son Ishmael meaning God hears when he visited her in the desert the first time (Gen 16 when Sarah sends her away) and in turn Hagar calls God the God who sees me. God gave her a son with a name that would remind her he hears. What a good God and yes, the water, refreshment for her weary soul. And, she is found so much in the desert...Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.Hosea 2:14

Love you!!!

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