Genesis 21:1-21. Isaac had been born, and laughter filled Abraham’s house. But some of the laughter appears to have been mocking from Ishmael, who is about 16 years old by now. Sarah is indignant, and orders that he and his mother be sent away. She has no intention of having both sons raised in the same household. This breaks Abraham’s heart, because he loves Ishmael. Nevertheless, Abraham prays, and God tells him to listen to his wife.
It is not long before Hagar and Ishmael are in a desperate spot. She cries out to God, but does not expect Abraham’s God to hear her. He hears her. He loves her too – and Ishmael. He answers her, and they revive, and thrive.
Sometimes the things God calls us to do appear harsh and unloving. We have to trust God, and obey him. No sacrifice is too great to stay in the center of his will.
LORD, keep us faithful to you, even in times when our faithfulness is displeasing to us.