Saturday, November 21, 2009

Be All There

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." ~ missionary Jim Elliot

When God’s will takes us to a place in our life where the future is unknown and the heart is heavy, this quote if far easier said than done! For example, when Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and the way of women had ceased to be with Sarah (Genesis 18:11) the Lord promised them a son. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. (Genesis 21:2. ESV.)

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. (Genesis 21:3. ESV.)

Then the Lord tested Abraham and said,
"Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Genesis 22:2. ESV.)
Abraham obeyed though I have to believe he was most likely confused and sad.

But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 12He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." (Genesis 22:11-12. ESV.)

Secondly, there is Hagar who bore Abraham a son, Ishmael, before Sarah conceived Isaac. Sarah said to Abraham,
"Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." (Genesis 21:10. ESV.)
God said to Abraham,
"Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." (Genesis 21:12-13. ESV.)

14So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. (Genesis 21:14. ESV.)
This was God’s will for Hagar! She and her son were on their own, left to roam around in the rough country alone without any support, family, nothing! I cannot imagine how she must have felt!

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20And God was with the boy, and he grew up. (Genesis 21:15-20. ESV.)

God provided but how difficult it must have been for Hagar to “be all there. Live to the hilt” in this situation God had willed for her and her precious son. I cannot help but wonder if she had peace that surpasses all understanding or if she struggled with her sin of anger and anxiety. And I’m curious how it felt having the father of her child deny her and cast her away. Not to mention Ishmael’s feelings on the matter once he was old enough to understand.

Forever, O LORD, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91By your appointment they stand this day,
for all things are your servants.
92If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
95The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your testimonies.
96I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad. (Psalm 119:89-96. ESV.)
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