“What ails you…” – Genesis 21:17
Abraham and Sarah finally have a son together, just as God promised. Now Hagar and Ishmael would be cast out of the home, much to Abraham’s disappointment. Just as before, Hagar would find herself in the wilderness. But this would be much different. Last time she was found by a spring of water and pregnant, ready to produce life. This time no water could be found and her son would be close to death.
Ishmael and Hagar are now cast out and you’ll notice, Ishmael is no longer called by his name in this portion of scripture, simply lad. Hagar knows he is dying and cannot stand to watch. She sits him underneath a tree to provide as much comfort for him and sits far enough where she cannot see him completely. And, she cried as if he was already lost. She felt completely helpless, there was no hope.
The angel of God called out to her and asked what was wrong. His question was rhetorical and there was no expectation of a complete answer. The question was asked so she would be prepared for the response. God’s angel tells her not to worry, the lad had cried out to God himself and the Lord heard.
Ishmael was a child that lost his dad and now lost and dying in the wilderness. His mom has no answer and is troubled. And the lad prays. God answered and brought comfort and peace to their souls.
In our lives we may have been cast out of our homes, lost family and even feel as though we are dying inside. Like Ishmael, we may have lost our identity and think people do not even remember our names. Ishmael remembered his heritage, he knew he was made in the image of God and that was his true Father. Ishmael prayed and God remembered his name and even came to save Ishmael while he was in the wilderness hidden under a tree.
You are not so far cast out that the Lord cannot find you. He knows you feel like your soul is dying and He knows your name. He has not forgotten you. You need only to cry out to Him for what ails you, He will answer.
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:12-13