Often, we find ourselves in tough situations in life which end up placing us in positions dictated by fear. Today, as single parents, God wants us to understand that He is working on our various concerns and desires. His requirement from us is to not be afraid.
We shall be drawing our encouragement from the story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael. (Genesis 21:18).
- God had a promise for both sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. He had promised to make each of them great.
2. In God’s promise He did not show partiality when it came to the race and tribe of the sons (even though Ishmael was half Egyptian and born of a slave servant).
When she was pregnant, Hagar ran away and an angel appeared to her and told her to name her son Ishmael, which means “God hears.” From this encounter, Hagar gave God the name El Roi – “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13), then God told Hagar to go back and submit to Sarah.
We should face our fears courageously
Hagar encounters the Lord while she is on the move. At that moment, she was running away from her fears, her pain, her troubles and she just wanted to be free. This is probably how I would have reacted too in the same situation. However, the angel of the Lord asks her to return and submit to Sarah, the woman who was mistreating her and the person she is fleeing from! This is how God wants us to deal with such situations, our fears. Instead of running away from the challenging situations, we can face them knowing that the Lord is with us, He will guide and protect us.
God hears our children’s cries
Soon after Sarah got her own son, she asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away because they were making fun of Isaac. God asked Abraham to do as his wife had said.
We can all imagine what was going on in Hagar’s mind – the brokenness, uncertainties, rejection must have been part of the emotional rollercoaster. How was she going to cope in life out there? She had a son and she didn’t have a clue of where she was going.
Maybe we’ve been in that position where we’ve felt loneliness; where we had no one to turn to and nothing we could do on our own. It reached a point where Hagar started wandering about in the wilderness of Beersheba and the source of water was gone.
When the waters were gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred metres away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. Genesis 21: 15-16
Verses 17 and 18 are interesting. God hears the boy (Ishmael) crying and the angel calls Hagar from Heaven, with a message from God, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”
Let us teach our children how to pray. In the same manner that God heard Ishmael’s cry, He hears our children’s cry and answers them today.
God lifts up the burden from Hagar
Verse 19 and 20 God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well full of water, she then filled her jar and gave her son to quench his thirst. God watched over Ishmael as he grew up in the wilderness.
Be encouraged today that you don’t have to face life alone. God is more than willing to be with you every step of the way. Your children are a blessing and God is their Father. He cares for them even in their times of passing through the wilderness.
He is only asking us as parents not to be afraid because He is the God who Sees!