Speaking the Truth in Love

Questions God Asks – What Troubles You?

Image result for genesis old bibleSarah is infertile. So she exercises a right stipulated in her marriage covenant. She gives her slave girl to her husband. Ishmael, the child born to Abraham and Hagar, legally belongs to Sarah.

But Sarah doesn’t want him. Giving Hagar to Abraham hasn’t worked out so well. (Failing to follow God’s plan for marriage never does.) When Hagar realizes that she’s pregnant, she scorns Sarah for her infertility. How humiliating for a woman with wealth and prestige to be despised by a slave! And now teenaged Ishmael has the audacity to mock her toddler Isaac.

Sarah won’t have it. She kicks Hagar and Ishmael out of the house. The son of a slave woman isn’t sharing her precious son’s inheritance. Abraham grieves over this. He loves the rejected boy. God reassures him, though. Let Sarah have her way. Isaac is the heir of promise, but the Lord will remember Ishmael and make him a nation.

Hagar is wandering in the desert, her supply of water gone. Ishmael is dying of thirst. She can’t bear to watch him suffer. Leaving him under the shade of a bush, she withdraws about the distance of a bowshot, and sits on the ground. Ishmael cries, and the Lord hears. God’s angel calls from heaven, “What troubles you, Hagar?” (Gen. 21:17). Hagar isn’t to fear. God is listening. The boy will live and thrive, and his descendants will multiply. The Lord opens Hagar’s eyes, and she sees a well of water.

Image result for storms od boatWhat troubles you? Good question. What makes you want to sit down and cry? Has your wife cheated on you? Is your son or daughter addicted? Are you terribly lonely and unable to find a suitable husband? Are you tired of living with constant pain? Are you sick of having too many bills and too little income? Is the loss of a close friend breaking your heart?

What is troubling you? What tempts you to sit down and cry? Your answer may be unique to your own experience. But God’s response is invariable. He sees you. He hears your voice. He knows your heart. And he cares about you. Never doubt that.

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