Today’s Scattered Seeds
In our last devotion, we talked about how the Lord is near to the broken-hearted. We talked about Hagar, and how in Genesis Chapter 16 God saw her pain.
“For I have now seen the One who sees me,” she said.
If we read the chapter in its entirety, we see that God blessed her that day in the desert saying, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
As I got to thinking about Hagar this week I was reminded that some blessings are disguised as a trial. Some gifts are hidden behind the wisdom of God, patiently waiting to emerge in due time.
Lysa Terkeurst one wrote, “God loves me too much to answer my prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.”
And so we see Hagar again in Genesis Chapter 21. This time she’s a single mom alone with her son Ishmael. All they have is a bottle of water and bread. How could this possibly be her story? Where was her blessing from God?
And then I got to thinking about the way that God works, and I see the beauty of His gift in all this. In order to lead a great nation, Ishmael had to become a great man.
I see the importance of hardship, and how it makes a man strong. I see the value in trials and the potential they have to make a man grow. And finally, I see the words, “And God was with the lad,” which serves to remind us that while trials and testing are an important part of our growth, we’re not going through them alone.
P.S. Here’s an excerpt from our Bible study this week. It’s such a good fit, so I wanted to share it:
Strengthened by Adversity
Adversity does one of two things. It either knocks us off our feet and leaves us feeling defeated, or we are strengthened by it. Let’s look at 9 people (and one nation) who were strengthened by the winds of adversity:
- Joseph was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery.
- The Hebrews were enslaved for hundreds of years by the Egyptians.
- Pharaoh tried to kill Moses more than once.
- Samson was weak, humiliated, blind, and in bondage.
- Job lost everything including his children.
- God wrestled with Jacob and put his thigh out of joint before he called him, “Israel” (who prevails with God).
- Ruth lost her husband. She left behind her home, and her people.
- David was a murderer, and an adulterer. He lost his infant son.
- Peter denied Christ three times on the night of His death.
- Paul was stricken with blindness for 3 days.
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Tilling the Soil
Read Genesis Chapter 21 where find the story of God with Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:2-3, KJV)
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Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife