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.