Journeying through our own times of wilderness can be all-consuming. The anxieties, worries, and fears swirl around us and within us and cloud our vision like a dust storm. This passage reminds us that just as God did not forsake Hagar and Ishmael, God will not forsake us.
God of the wilderness, the desert, and the valley, meet us in our despair. When our vision is clouded, open our eyes to your presence and provisions. Amen.
The story of Hagar and Ishmael being cast out from Abraham’s house reminds us that even when we are in our darkest hour, God doesn’t abandon us. God is faithful and meets us in the wilderness. The psalmist calls out to God from a place of desperation, yet even in desperation, there is confident hope in God. Paul reminds us that as Christians, we participate in the death and resurrection of Christ. The powers of sin and death no longer have the final say over our lives. Jesus teaches us that discipleship will not be easy, but that God’s care for us is great. It is only when we’re willing to lose our lives that we will find them.
Read Genesis 21:8-21. Consider a time you’ve excluded someone. What do you wish you would have done differently? How might a daily Examen practice help you right the wrongs you caused or learn from your mistakes?
Read Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17. In what ways do you need God’s help in your life today? Consider writing a prayer to more deeply connect with God about your needs.
Read Romans 6:1b-11. Consider the author’s question “What does freedom from sin look like?”
Read Matthew 10:24-39. In what ways have you become too comfortable in your discipleship? Where is God calling you to be more faithful?
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