March 25th, 2022 – Friday Late Afternoon
“God heard the lad crying…” ~Genesis 21:17a
We live in an extremely fast-paced and chaotic environment filled with pain, suffering, violence, injustice, death, etc. We have to go no farther than our own minds to know the devastation that sin wreaks upon humanity, yet we see and hear it all around us as well. Perhaps we can block it out most of the time, but eventually we are faced with the sad realities that fill our sin-stricken world. It is at those moments when we most need to remember and be reminded of the true and unchanging nature and character of God.
The short passage above gives us a profound picture of that nature and character; please, read it again. When you stop and consider that the Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign of everything that exists – things seen and unseen – heard a solitary young man’s cries (perhaps due to dire dehydration), it suddenly puts everything back into perspective. Remember, this is the rejected son, Ishmael; the son who would not be allowed to grow up and enjoy his father’s guidance, encouragement, blessings, care, and protection. This is the young man who was even rejected by God (not rejected in his existence, but in his place as heir) and sent away with his mother from his [apparently] loving father’s presence. Yet, here in this passage, God hears even his cries and, in the following verses, reiterates His promises and provides for his needs.
God hears. He hears the cries of the suffering, the persecuted, the belittled, the outcast, the rejected; He hears and He knows. His answer to those cries may not always be in accordance with our perspective and desires, but He hears them and cares about them nonetheless. He is near to the brokenhearted, He is the defender of widows and a Father to the fatherless; He never forsakes those who trust in Him and He is compassionate and gracious to those who look to Him. Over and over and over again in Scripture, we are reminded of these things and instructed to have our hearts set on the LORD instead of moving to anxiety, despair, and every other symptom and form of sin.
My friends, God hears the cries of the brokenhearted and He knows the suffering that you yourself may be going through right now. Rejoice that He cares for you and desires your best interest! Surrender to Him and allow Him to comfort your heart with His grace, mercy, and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn’t a vain hope, but a sure and steadfast truth. Humble yourself under His mighty hand – even in the midst of crushing circumstances – and He will lift you up.
Let us give thanks to the LORD, the Sovereign and Supreme, who hears the cries of the brokenhearted! May our minds, our lips, and our lives reverberate with the praise the He is so worthy to receive!!!