"14So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar's shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. 'I don't want to watch the boy die,' she said, as she burst into tears. 17But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, 'Hagar, what's wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.' 19Then God opened Hagar's eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink."
This story just tugs at my heart. It's hard to imagine ever being in a situation like this, but I can get a glimpse of Hagar's despair and hopelessness. These verses remind me that God is always with me, no matter how bad my circumstances are or how upset I am. He is always there for me, and if I'm willing to listen to Him, He will comfort me and provide me with enough to get me through.
"1Some time later, God tested Abraham's faith. 'Abraham!' God called.
'Yes,' he replied. 'Here I am.'
2'Take your son, your only son--yes, Isaac, whom you love so much--and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.'
3The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about."
"9When they arrived at the place where God had told them to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham!'
'Yes,' Abraham replied. 'Here I am!'
12'Don't lay a hand on the boy!' the angel said. 'Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.'
Abraham had such strong faith in God. He waited a long time to have his son Isaac (he was born when Abraham was 100 years old). Then God asks Abraham to give Isaac up as a sacrifice. I don't have any children yet, but I still can't imagine having to sacrifice my own child. Abraham didn't even hesitate. He left the next morning to go to the place where God had called him. When God calls me to do something, I need to obey Him immediately. It's really easy for me to put things off for later, but God wants immediate action. I can't relate as much with the sacrifice part of this, but I could translate it over to helping people. When I see people who need help, I need to attend to them right away. God doesn't want me to wait until it's more convenient, and He especially doesn't want me to put it off until I completely forget about it.