Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Five

Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Five

Scripture: Read Genesis 16 and Genesis 21:1-21

Devotion from ‘A Louder Song’ NavPress: For anyone walking through seasons of difficulty, particularly when that difficulty seems like it will never end, an inevitable part of the grieving process is wondering about the what-ifs, the if-onlys, or the what-might-have-beens. Sometimes, in order to move through our pain, we need to create space to grieve for our disrupted futures. In other words, we need to lament (cry out to God) those what-could-have-beens. It’s perfectly legitimate, healthy even, to grieve for past pain and for alternate versions of the future. Because our what-might-have-beens are also very real losses.

It’s good to express our what-could-have-been questions to God—not so that we get stuck in the past or stumble over it—but as a way to surrender the past to Him, and begin living wholly in the new reality in front of us.

Think of Hagar and little Ishmael’s lament in Genesis 21, from our reading today. We see a glimpse of a “what-might-have-been” lament here. Hagar and her boy were banished to the desert because of Sarah’s jealousy. When they ran out of water, Hagar placed her little one under some bushes and sobbed, “I cannot watch him die” (verse 16).

In Hagar’s lament, we see the pain of a mother watching her son suffer. This is not the existence this child was supposed to have. He should have been raised in the house of his father, Abraham. He should have been provided for. He should have known shelter, food, water, and family. He certainly should not be dying in the desert. Thankfully, the Lord heard the cries of mother and son, stepped in, and provided water for them, a well in the desert. As Hagar said good-bye to what should have been, God stepped in and took Ishmael down another path altogether.

As we read Scriptures like these, it becomes clear that God never remains a passive listener. When we cry out to Him, when we surrender our what-ifs to Him, He hears. God is an involved Comforter, who wants our what-ifs. So, surrender your what-might-have-beens to God today.

These might also be the very laments that help open your eyes to see God’s stream in your desert. In your anxiety and worry or perhaps pain, may you know Him today as El Roi, the God who sees you. He sees you. He knows you. He has your future in complete control. All is well.

Reflect

  • Attribute: What attribute of God* stands out to you in today’s reading? Worship Him for who He is and thank Him for the times this attribute has been evidenced to you as a blessing or correction.
  • Pray: Ask God to help you let go of what you thought your future should hold and trust Him for how He wants Your future to be. Ask Him to help you live in the present, trusting Him to supply every need. Ask Him to crush, in the name of Jesus, worry, anxiety, and frustration over the future and replace them with peace and rest. Pray for the repentance of God’s people and a heart felt turning back to God in our nation and around the world. Pray for the those suffering because of this virus and for our health care workers and others in harms way.
  • One Kind Act: Take a Prayer Walk. Walk around your neighborhood and pray for the individuals in each home you pass. If you know them, perhaps you know of specific prayers. If you don’t know them, lift them to Jesus for His loving touch. If you see people out or pass (at a safe distance) others, pray for them.

*Eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; wise, good, loving, gracious, merciful, patient, holy, righteous, sovereign.

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