Family Fun & Fitness

30 Days of Celebrating Moms in May: Doubting Mother

“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.”

Genesis 21:2-3 (NIV)

Sarah had once imagined sticky handprints on the walls, bedtime cuddles, and Saturday mornings spent with a child. But the years had slowly turned into decades, and there was no baby.

She had cried more tears than there were drops of water in the ocean. Eventually, she reached a place of painful acceptance. She let go of the dream and accepted that a child would never come from her womb.

But, one day, she overheard her husband, Abraham, talking to two strangers. Angels the Lord had sent who promised that she would bear a son.

Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought:

“After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

Genesis 18:11-12 (NIV)

Sarah’s laughter revealed her inner doubt. She smoothed her hand over her flat belly and sighed. She was no nearly ninety, and her youth had faded long ago. Yet her doubt didn’t stop God from giving her a son.

Sarah’s story proves that God can still work a miracle even when we struggle with doubts. His miracles are not dependent on you or what you do, for He is the Eternal God. 

God, forgive us for our doubts. We trust in You to redeem all the difficult situations we face in Your way and in Your timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d like to invite you to join my free private Facebook group where mothers can connect for support and encouragement in the Lord.

Family Fun & Fitness

30 Days of Celebrating Moms in May: A Difficult Pregnancy

Yesterday, I talked about one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Today we’re going to talk about another one. I love how God showed Himself to Hagar after she’d been so mistreated by one of God’s most faithful servants, Abram, and his wife.

“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’”

(Genesis 16:7-8, NIV)

After having a pretty secure (if not entirely free) life as one of Sarai’s handmaidens, Hagar suddenly found herself alone and pregnant. She’d been instructed to sleep with her mistress’s husband, and the union had resulted in a pregnancy that Sarai wanted. But even this did not make her mistress happy.

So, Hagar felt she had no choice but to flee. She was traveling alone in the desert when God reached out and started a conversation with her.

When Hagar explained that she was running away, God instructed her to return to her mistress. Then He went on to speak of her unborn child, promising that he will live freely in the land among the rest of his family … even it wasn’t going to be quite a happily ever after situation:

“The angel of the Lord also said to her:

‘You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.’”

Genesis 16:11-12 (NIV)

Still, Hagar got the point. The conversation led her to a beautiful revelation about who God is and what He was doing in her life.

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:

“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13 (NIV)

Not every pregnancy is easy or fun. Some of them, in fact, are very, very hard.

Maybe you’ve experienced a difficult pregnancy of your own due to disease or illness. You may lack the support of a community, or be under a heavy load of stress. But, just as God saw Hagar in the midst of her pain and fear, He sees you. He sees your difficult pregnancy, and He is watching over you.

God, when I’m tempted to worry or fret, help me to turn to You. When discouragement calls my name, let me remember that I am seen by You, my loving Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d like to invite you to join my free private Facebook group where mothers can connect for support and encouragement in the Lord.

Book Reviews, Family Fun & Fitness

30 Days to Understanding the Bible – Day 5

30 days to understanding the bible day 5

Yesterday, we began a more in-depth look at the major sections of the Old Testament with the Creation Era. Today, we’re covering the rest of the book of Genesis – from chapter 12 to chapter 50.

Anders has termed this section of history the Patriarch Era. This is the portion of text that focuses on the birth of the nation of Israel, from father Abraham to his great-grandson Joseph. There are some fascinating stories contained in these chapters, so if you haven’t spent a lot of time reading the end of the book of Genesis (or the beginning, for that matter), I highly recommend you start today. I read the book through at least once every three months. Genesis tells you how it all began, which is important for a better understanding of how it’s all going to end.

But even though I’ve read the book of Genesis through several times, there were still some things I learned in this chapter, which is pretty cool!

As is the case with most of the other chapters in this book, we start with a review to see how much we remember about what we’ve learned.

reviewofcreationera

Then Anders transitions right into a storyline summary of the Patriarch Era. I have to admit I’ve never thought of the Hebrew people in quite this way before – they were chosen by God TO REPRESENT HIM TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.

God had already hinted at His solution to the problem of sin in Genesis 3:15. The Savior who would crush the serpent’s head would come from the Hebrew people, the descendants promised to Abraham.

patriarchsummary

Also, note the reference to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers above … two locations we learned about in a previous chapter. You can bet there’s another map coming up. I’ll show you in a minute.

This chapter also includes a brief description of Abraham and his descendants through which the Messiah would come (Isaac, Jacob/Israel, and Joseph).

timeoftrialsparksspirirtualhnunger

Joseph’s death transitions us into the Exodus Era. But look at that last sentence I highlighted above. The bondage the Hebrew people found themselves facing increased their spiritual hunger. God sent the trial so they would look to Him for rescue.

This reminds me a lot of Romans 5:3-5 (NASB): “…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance proven character, and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Even in our struggles, we can hope in the love of God. If we look to Him, He will help us.

As is the case with the other chapters, this chapter ends with a self-test, so you can solidify the new (and old) information you’ve learned in your mind. And look–there’s the map I was telling you about earlier! It shows the movement of Abraham from Ur to Cannan, and then the Israelites’ movement from Canaan to Egypt.

 

I have a feeling in the next chapter we’ll be talking about how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (with some miraculous help from God). Stay tuned for that. It’s going to be awesome!

Have You Missed Any Previous Posts in This Series?

Here’s a complete list of what I’ve read and posted so far, just in case you need to catch up.

The Structure of the Bible

The Geography of the Old Testament

The Historical Books

The Creation Era