Tuesday, March 29, 2016

He Hears

"Hagar......HAGAR.....you must take Ishmael and leave"

She wakes trembling at the sound of his voice.
What has happened now?
As she sits upright she sees her master Abraham in the early morning light.  He motions for her to hurry and she gathers her things.  Meeting him outside the tent he explains that Sarah has erupted once again but this time she has demanded that she and her son leave.
"Leave?" she asks. "Where am I going?"
Still groggy from sleep she begins to realize what he is saying.

She is being cast out!

He quickly prompts her to gather her son and their few things as  he almost pushes her to the edge of the camp.

Once away from the others he seems to move in slow motion.
Silently he shoves a loaf of bread wrapped in cloth and he slings a skin of water around her neck.

His face is grey and drawn.  He looks so sad.

"Master, what has happened?"

"Isaac is the Promised Seed."
"Yahweh has promised to multiply through him".
"It is only going to get more difficult if you stay here....Sarah will make sure of it"

As if in a thick fog Hagar  stumbles and pulls Ishmael with her.  A million thoughts run through her head.
"Lord why?"
"You told me to return when I left as a pregnant woman". Gen 16:9
"You promised to make a nation out of Ishmael".
"Are you a man that you can lie?!"

"She wandered on aimlessly and lost her way in the wilderness of Beersheba" Gen 21:14

 "Beersheba" the dreaded wilderness, known for its wind and dry land,
 she recalls it being called "the land of the dead end"

Hours turn into days as she tries to find a way.  The bread is gone and the water skin dried up days ago. Ishmael  is having trouble walking and weariness has settled heavily upon the two.

The end is near.

She practically carries Ishmael to a near by bush and tells him to sleep.  She knows they are both near the end. Her tirade has reduced to a dry sob and she herself walks away and leans her bent body against a rock.
"Lord I cannot bear to see my child die.  Take him quickly".

She realizes there are sobs mixed with the rise of the winds.  They puncture her heart and her own cries join the boys  in a final discord.

And the end becomes THE BEGINNING

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Are We There Yet?"

I remember those days.
When children were small.
When they saw us as "fully in charge"
When they (often without realizing) had not a care in the world.

We would pile in the 15 seater. Each child with his paper sack full of clothing...going to Nannies in Maine.   Oh the planning and execution of those trips...!  I sit now and say "how did I do that?!"

Finally in and driving....snacks gone in the first 15 minutes of the trip, it would not be long before we would hear...

"are we there yet?  How many more minutes?  Almost????   Now ????"

We would assure these precious little ones (with ants in their pants) that "it won't be long...we have not crossed over the big bridge yet...we have not seen the Indian etc etc" which set them at ease for approximately 2 miles and then it would start all over...

.."are we there yet?  How many more minutes?  Almost????   Now ????"

Talking with a young friend today who, sitting in the center of this  Great Unknown, wanted to ask the same questions......"when. Why. Who. Where. WHEN!??"

When I remembered that well worn phrase from years long ago....

"You know it will go much faster if you fall asleep.  All of a sudden you will wake up and we will be there!"

Quiet yourselves little ones.
God is in control of the trip.
He will not lose His way.
You are being safely carried by the Universe making God.
He never tires or gets weary.  He is not impatient or angry with our frets and anxiousness.

He says, 

"You know it will go much faster if you fall asleep.  All of a sudden you will wake up and we will be there"

Rest my friend