Sorrow and suffering are most unwelcome gifts, and yet they are something we cannot do without if we are to become the persons God designed us to be. Today’s devotional will explain. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Genesis 21:14-16 (ESV)
14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
“Gen. 21 contains a whole group of exquisite and pathetic traits of maternal love. One mother is seen bending radiant with smiles over her newborn babe, another sobbing with breaking heart beside her dying son…. But God is near them both…. There is a divine meaning in tears as well as in joy. God does not mock the immense mother-love which has bonded and planned and toiled so long for a child. Only, He answers prayer in His own way; and He endures the pain of seeing His children weep, because sorrow has saving and healing virtues. Abraham prayed that his son might live before God (17:18). God answers the prayer by bringing Ishmael within an inch of the grave…. It was good that Hagar’s son should know his frailty and mortality before he received the gifts of power and fortune which were in store for him. Prosperity would be disastrous to almost every man if he were not prepared for it by adversity. ‘Take out of your character all the fine qualities which came into it through sorrow, and you would be turned into a crude and selfish creature’ (Joseph Parker).” [James Strahan, Hebrew Ideals in Genesis: Study of Old Testament Faith and Life, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1902-1905), p. 148-149]