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June 07, 2019 · Bob Gass

Encouragement for single parents

“Lift the boy up and take him by the hand…for I will make him…great.” Genesis 21:18 NIV

When you read the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, you realize how much God cares about single parents. Although Abraham was Ishmael’s father, he sent the boy and his mother away without child support: “[He] took some food and a skin of water …gave them to Hagar…and…sent her off…She went on her way and wandered in the desert” (v. 14 NIV). In many ways Hagar typifies those who walk through the desert of past mistakes, shame, abandonment, and fear of starting over. The Bible tells us when “the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she…sat…about a bowshot away [about fifty feet], for she thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ And…she began to sob.” (vv. 15-16 NIV). As a single parent, you may be tired and lonely. Humanly speaking, you’ve done the best you can with what you have, but you have nothing left to give. The good news is God’s resources are inexhaustible: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29 NIV). “God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven…‘Lift the boy up…I will make him…great’…Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” (Genesis 21:17-19 NIV). God loves your child even more than you do, and when you turn to Him, He’ll show you a “well of water” you never knew existed. He has plans for your children, so encourage them and lift them up. The God who made Hagar’s child “great” can do the same for yours!

Bible in a year: 2 King 22-23 and Acts 13:1-25

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