Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hearing Hagar's Cries

"When the water was gone, she(Hagar) put the boy(Ishmael) in the shade of a bush.  Then 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. But 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. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”  Genesis 21:15-18

These days we see television scenes of women and children in Gaza trying to find shelter from the destruction that missiles bring upon their homes and neighborhoods.  Sometimes they are fleeing for safety on donkey carts or are huddled in school rooms. Frequently we see the exhausted distressed faces of hijab clad women or of their young adorable children crying. Occasionally a scene is televised of the suffering women wailing after they have lost a loved one. I can not bear to view these pathetic scenes. They disturb me tremendously. I care about what they are going through. It is as if I can feel their pain and sorrow and hear their cries and I feel helpless to alleviate their suffering. These women and children are innocent victims. How can they survive and recover physically and emotionally from this ordeal?

I'm sure these precious Muslim women’s cries are being heard by God – even this day. He heard Hagar’s cries in the wilderness and came to her. He saw her suffering and her need of water. He saw not only that helpless unfortunate woman, but also her beloved son, Ishmael.  And He loved them. He revealed Himself to Hagar and then provided for their urgent need of water in order to survive. I don’t know how God will respond to the cries of these Muslim women but I'm sure He will. I am praying it will happen soon. He doesn't ignore anyone’s cries for help. God, have mercy!

Recently a Muslim woman asked me, “How do you feel about what is going on?” She was waiting to hear “whose side” I am on. These are sensitive days and sensitive issues both politically and religiously. It’s not only Muslims who want to know “whose side” I am on but church wants to know, too. I am on “God’s side.” He hears the cries of the oppressed and broken, whoever they might be on either political or religious side. I suspect during these last few days of Ramadan there will be many cries poured out from the hearts of Muslim women. He will hear them. He heard Hagar’s cries. I hope I will always have ears to hear their cries and not be deaf or apathetic to them.

Dear heavenly Father, please come to the aid of distressed Muslim women. In Jesus’ name, Amen.