‘Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’ Genesis 21:18 NIV
When you read the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, you realise how much God cares about single parents. Although Abraham was Ishmael’s father, he sent the boy and his mother away without regular support: ‘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.’ (Genesis 21:14 NIV)
In many ways Hagar typifies those who walk through the desert of past mistakes, shame, abandonment, and fear of starting over. The Bible tells us when the water was gone, she put the boy under a bush. ‘Then she went off and sat down about a bow-shot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.’ (Genesis 21:15–16 NIV)
As a single parent you may be tired and lonely. Humanly speaking, you’ve done the best you can with what you have, but you’ve nothing left to give. The good news is God’s divine resources are inexhaustible: ‘He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.’ (Isaiah 40:29 NIV)
An angel of God called to Hagar from Heaven. ‘“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.’ (Genesis 21:17–19 NIV)
God loves your child even more than you do, and when you turn to Him, He’ll show you a ‘well of water’ you never knew existed. He has plans for your children, so encourage them and lift them up. The God who made Hagar’s child ‘great’ can do the same for yours!
SoulFood: Num 32:25–33:56, Mark 5:11–20, Ps 44:17–26, Pro 11:12–13
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023