There aren't many stories that relate directly to single moms in the bible, but last night as I was reading Genesis and the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar it struck me that Hagar was... well a single mom. She had lived with Abraham and Sarah for awhile until Sarah had told her to leave and Abraham was in agreement after God told him to let her go. So Abraham gave Hagar some food and a skin of water and sent her and Ishmael on her way. Poor Hagar first she was told to have a child with another woman's husband and then basically kicked out to wander in the desert of Beersheba. At that moment Hagar became a single mom.
I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty she felt as she walked through the desert with her son. It was probably a hot long arid desert with not a whole lot around. I wonder if she felt betrayed and bewildered wondering how she was going to take care of not only herself, but her son. I imagine her son was confused as to why he was sent away from the family he knew. Did a little mocking really constitute being sent away? I am sure this was a very difficult time for Hagar to say the least, and most likely a very lonely time. I'm sure many of us although not send to the desert have experienced those same feelings that Hagar had when she became a single mom. I am sure Hagar tried to put on a brave face just like most of us have done in dire times. She may have said to Ishmael not to worry that they would be fine. She probably kept this up as long as she could until... the water ran out.
Imagine walking in a desert with your child and the water is gone! The panic that would settle in once you realized that you have nothing to drink and sustain you. Moms, we all do our best to protect our child and keep them safe when we can't do that we feel like we fail as a mom. Ishmael was probably complaining of thirst and rightfully so. This wasn't a nagging complaint this was a basic needs if I don't get it I am going to die complaint. At this point I'm sure Hagar herself was thirsty and exhausted and terrified. She probably felt hopeless in this situation. I can remember a few times feeling hopeless and uncertain of our future and the angst that it caused me in my soul. Those weren't life death situations so Hagar was probably experiencing an internal breakdown.
We instinctively never want to worry our children so Hagar went to a bush not too far from Ishmael and sat down and sobbed not cried but sobbed. How many of us have done that!! My hand is in the air! Hagar couldn't watch her son die so the situation must have been deteriorating fast. As she cried God hear her and an angel of God said to her, "What is the matter Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand for I will make him into a great nation." Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew. Genesis 21:17-20.
Ladies, did God come through or what! The Lord heard her cry, he knew her circumstances and he saw her troubles and he did not forsake her. He instead provided a WELL of WATER, not a skin of water a well. He was with Ishmael as he grew he didn't leave her child's side either. When we are facing hardships and we're in our own deserts dying of thirst the Lord will provide a well of water. He will never forsake you no matter how dark your circumstances are. The Lord allowed Abraham to send Hagar away but he also provided for her. This story in my eyes is a testament to how much the Lord does care for single mothers and our children. I believe that Hagar was faithful to the Lord and he took care of her and Ishmael. The Lord didn't allow her most precious treasure to die in front of her instead he more than paved the way for the both of them. If you are ever feeling like you are wandering through a desert, hopeless, and afraid with nothing to drink, turn to the Lord he hears your cry and he will provide.
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