(By Les Day)
Read Romans 8:26
When I was reading from Romans Chapter 8 last Good Friday, I had a very clear picture when I read verse 26. This picture I want to share with you.
“I saw a man dressed in smart clothing standing at his superior’s desk and he is saying, ‘Here is my request for…’ His superior then picked up his phone and gave instructions. Putting the phone down he said, ‘Thank you. Next person, please.’”
For me this was a very comforting picture as I felt it demonstrated God’s compassion. Sometimes it is not easy to recognize this, as His ways are not always our ways, as seen in the story of Hagar in Genesis 16:1-16 and 21:4-21.
Sarah the wife of Abram was barren, and Sarah gave Hagar, her servant, to Abram so she could bear them a son. After Hagar became pregnant, she began to despise Sarah. Unfortunately, Sarah responded negatively to the point where Hagar runs away. She is found by an Angel of the Lord on the desert road to Egypt. The Angel asks where she is from and where she is going. After explaining the situation to the him, the Angel tells her to go back and submit to Sarah. He also tells her that her son, who will be called Ishmael, will sadly be a donkey of a man. However, Hagar views this meeting as a blessing, for she says, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
We do not know how Sarah responded until 14 years later when Sarah’s son Isaac was circumcised, and Abraham held a great feast. At this celebration, Sarah saw that Ishmael was mocking her son. Her response was to insist that Hagar and her son must leave. For a second time Hagar is abandoned; this time, with the responsibility of her son.
In the desert of Beersheba, the water runs out. Hagar put her son under a bush to die, but couldn’t bear to watch this, so she walked some distance away, full of grief. God heard the boy crying and an Angel of the Lord called to Hagar from Heaven, asking her what the matter was. When Hagar explained, he told her not to be afraid, as God had heard the boy crying and said, “Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.” God then opened her eyes, she saw a well of water, and they were saved.
I share with you my 1st year’s birthday card from my Grandparents, which comforted me for it reminds me that God watches over us every day wherever we are.