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  • Monica DuBois

16. What's bothering you?

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Read Genesis 21:6-21


Gen 21:17 (The angel of God called out to Hagar) “What aileth thee?”


I am laying here with an ailment. And this is the question I have to write about. "What aileth thee?"


No it’s not covid 19. I had a biopsy and the diagnosis is cancer: squamous cell carcinoma. It’s an early stage cancer so it’s treatable and I will overcome this. I just have to do a bunch of things and give my time to healing. I’m not unhappy. Is this where I wanted to be at this time in my life? No. Everything has changed and I had no say in it. Not unlike Hagar and Ishmael, they, all of a sudden had to leave everything they knew and head into the unknown. Have you ever been in this kind of situation where you had no say in it? And everything changes, so you must change too?


There are several situations I have seen where lives have been turned upside down:


*A family’s home gets hit by a tornado. It kills the father and puts two of the 14 children in the hospital. The home is leveled.


*An unexpected diagnosis of cancer when they were doing an emergency surgery gall bladder problems. Four years later, the mom is dead after multiple rounds of chemo and radiation and surgeries, leaving three young men to fend for themselves and a devasted husband.


*A woman in her thirties is ready to deliver her fourth baby. The three children at home are under six years old. The baby is delivered and everything’s fine. Then she suddenly had an embryonic embolism and dies. She leaves a brand-new baby and three little ones for the father to raise by himself.


*A father takes his son on an adventure. The son accidently falls into an underground hornet nest. Hours later he dies. He was their only son.


*A child is outside playing with his friend. He brags, “I bet I can walk across the ice on that pond.” All that you can see of him is his mitten floating on the top of the water’s edge. and his younger friend standing there crying not knowing what to do.


These are devasting things that happen everyday to someone. Sometimes to someone we know. Sometimes, it happens in our own family.


If God came along and asked, “ What aileth thee?” in the midst of your situation, but proceeded to talk further with the promises He gave you sometime earlier in your life, how would you respond?


These things come to mind as I think about this:


This is God talking to you. Who will you argue with? Are you sure you want to argue?


His promises do not have a statute of limitations, meaning they do not expire. If He gives you a promise, He will stand by it. He is a God of covenants, not contracts that can be broken.


If God is speaking to you in your situation, rejoice! He is the only One Who will have an answer to your dilemma. Listen to Him! Do what He says and have hope.


*That family whose dad, and everything they owned was taken in a tornado, he left a substantial inheritance for them. He also was a great dad and taught his children and wife to know that God is in control no matter what. He left them with a rich legacy, and they are flourishing under his instruction, as many of the older children help and teach the younger ones who their daddy was and Who God is.


*The unexpected cancer diagnosis turned into a rich time for the family to see what really matters in their lives. They were blessed by many people during that time.


*The father with 4 children just found a new wife and married her. She felt the Lord had told her that she would marry someone who was a widower. She has an instant family. He has a new start, and the children have a new mom.


*The father and mother who lost their only son, had no other children. But they have a strong marriage and an extraordinarily strong faith in Jesus.


*The child who drown at the age of 5, his parents had a stronger marriage after that and had more children.


Some of these people had a solid faith, some did not. But they survived the unthinkable. There is always hope.

Hagar had only heard about Abraham’s God, then she heard from Him. But her faith was more in Abraham than in his God. She quickly learned not to put her trust in a man when that man asked her to leave and gave her bread and water and nothing else. But soon she found out she could trust that man’s God. The proof was when she could finally see the well of water they so desperately needed. The instant relief of just having one trouble answered, WATER! was enough to give her hope for her son and for herself. She also must have heard the angel say that God did not hear her voice, but her son’s. He must have been crying out to the God of Abraham for help. He learned he could ask God for help in time of trouble from his 13 years as Abraham’s son. The influence of Abraham had a lasting impression on Ishmael. In Islam, Abraham is revered as their father also.


“What aileth thee?” (What’s bothering you?)

Where are you? Have you been removed from all you know and placed in an area that seems foreign and maybe even barren? Does it seem like a hopeless place? Call upon the name of the Lord! He has given you great and wonderful promises in His Word. Ask that He would remind you of them so you can be without fear. So He can open your eyes to see the water He has provided for you to survive. Because of the confusion of the move you have forgotten the promises God had given you earlier in your life. He will hear your cry for help. Lift up your voice. Call upon His name. Then look around with clear vision to see the important things. And be not afraid.


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