It is a special week at Faithweaver Friends. It is the last week of the Fall Quarter which means that it is Prize Cabinet week. This is the week where the kids get to spend the Faith Bucks they have earned on prizes. We will also hand out awards for perfect attendance and for the top Faith Bucks earner for the quarter.
Our story this week is about Abraham’s other son. Wait, what? Abraham had another son? Yes, he did. Sarah did not want to wait on God. After waiting 10 years, she convinced Abraham to have a child with Sarah’s maidservant Hagar. However, Sarah became jealous of Hagar after she became pregnant. Sarah started treating Hagar very badly. God told Hagar to name her son Ishmael which means “God hears”. Even though Ishmael was not the promised son of Abraham and Sarah, God still promised to take care of Ishmael.
Let’s move forward about 17 years. Isaac is now 2 years old. Abraham and Sarah are having a big party for Isaac. Sarah notices that Ishmael, which is 16, was teasing Isaac. This made Sarah angry. So, she had Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham did not want to. Ishmael was his son. God told Abraham to do exactly what Sarah wants because God will take care of them. In fact, God promised to make Ishmael into a great nation just like He promised to do with Isaac. So Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away with food and water. Eventually, the food and water ran out. Hagar and Ishmael were in the middle of a desert with no food and water. They had no hope and were just waiting to die. All of a sudden an angel appeared to Hagar because God heard Ishmael crying. The angel told Hagar to not be afraid because God promised to take care of them. In fact, God would make a great nation out of Ishmael’s descendants. When Hagar finally looked up from talking with the angel she saw a well. They had water and food all along.
See, God promises to give us what we really need. He does not give us what we want. So when things are looking really bad, when we have no hope, I want you to do 3 things. First, stop. Stop trying to fix it yourself. Second, pray. Pray to God for help. And third, look around. God has probably provided what you need, already. Like Hagar, we can be so focused on our problems that we miss the solution that is right in front of us. Also notice that God answered the prayers of Hagar and Ishmael. God wants to hear from everyone, even if they are not His so called chosen people. God loves everyone and so should we.
See you this Wednesday at Faithweavers as we talk more about God giving us what we need when we need it. And it is also Prize Cabinet week. So you do not want to miss it. Remember that your Bible Challenge Verse is Philippians 4:4. Your Weekly Challenge is to tell a parent how sharing jokes reminds you of why Abraham and Sarah were so happy when Isaac was born.