Genesis 16; 21:15-21
Today these words were a great comfort to me. Mothering is so painful when babies grow up and start to suffer the consequences of a sinful world through relationships over which we as parents no longer have control. We cannot protect our children from the harsh realities that impact their comfort or even their safety.
Hagar was a mother apart from her own choosing. God was at work in the life of a human to bring about His redemption plan for the whole world. He had made a covenant with Abraham and he never goes back on his Word. (Genesis 15).
Here is Hagar sobbing, a bowshot away from Ishmael, her growing son, after she had run out of food and water and had to escape the wrath of Abraham's jealous wife, Sarah. She had no way within her own power to care for, provide for or comfort her only son. The Bible does not ever say that Ismael was crying until we read verse 17 when God Himself "heard the boy crying" (NIV). The angel spoke to Hagar but it was God who heard her son weeping.
I choose to believe in God's watchful care over my two daughters when their life situations are uncomfortable due to the human tangles of this sinful world. He, God Himself, can hear them when they cry. He can physically provide for what they need to comfort them (V. 19). God was with the boy as He grew up. What more could I ask for my girls than for God to be with them?
Also, I will not forget that while God Himself was caring for Ishmael and directing his life to fulfill His purposes, He still sent His angel to comfort Hagar.
This is the beginning of my blog on this website. for archived posts from previous years, click on the button to the right.
It is so pervasive in my life at times. So like a vine weed like I would find in my garden on a hot, summer evening. How thankful I am that God used two of His children in the past three years to speak truly of its critical danger, into my ears and my heart.
Where I have seen Fear’s most vagrant corruption is in stealing my joy while wasting precious time. The unfinished possibilities aborted by its white-knuckled grasp can choke the very life out of inspiration. How many ideas I have seen others carry to fruition that I gave up on out of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of someone’s displeasure. Fear of imperfection. When others choose to take a risk I can be found cowering in the seemingly safe shadows of fear.
And what is Fear’s antidote? Love. Because love is big, limitless and bold. I read in the book of 1 John 4:18, though archaic in its King James Version beauty, it still is tremendously true: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” And oh how terrible is that torment! Before in anxiety, during in suffering and after in regret. But just as we learn the physical law that something is best filled when it is empty or emptied when it is full, so perfect love is exactly what is strong enough to cast Fear out.
So what risk will I take today? When I awoke early in the dark of this morning, I knew the path for this day: run from fear and it’s near cousins of anger, shame and criticism. Just for today.
I am so glad that I did!