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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: February 27, 2024

Throughout the Scriptures, especially the Old Testament, God shows Himself to be the God who brings healing to broken families. This is something we see in our reading from Genesis 21. 

In His mercy, God has taken away Sarah’s barrenness in her old age. He’s filled her heart with joy after filling her womb with a child. But as they gather to celebrate the weaning of her precious son Isaac, Sarah’s heart still burns with pain as she looks upon the son that her husband conceived with Hagar, her servant. There in Ishmael, she sees the fruit of her failure, the son of a fertile womb that mocked her barrenness. Even though she was the one who suggested Abraham conceive a child with Hagar, Sarah is still filled with bitterness and anger, both just and unjust. And in her weakness, she can’t stand what is, at worst, adolescent snottiness from Ishmael. So she pressures Abraham to send them away. In all of this, the broken family becomes more broken because broken hearts can’t heal themselves.

But God provides for Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. He makes Ishmael into a mighty nation, according to his promise. He provides for those who are torn to shreds by their failings, their weaknesses, their sins, and their bitterness. And He does this because He is a God of mercy, a God who restores what we have shattered, who heals what we have broken.

So be at peace. This same Lord of mercy can bring peace and protection to you and your family. As guilt swarms around you, as you see the ways in which you failed your children, the ways in which you betrayed your spouse, be at peace. As shame swarms round you, as you see the ways in which you were mistreated and cast out in the wilderness, be at peace. Spit the bitterness out of your mouth. Stop devouring regret. Stop torturing yourself by wondering how much happier your life could be if only you had done something different or if only someone else had done something different.

You’re here in the desert. There’s no changing that. But in His mercy, God has sent the well of water. He’s invited you to drink the salvation of Jesus Christ. And He has the power to restore all that you have broken. In that well, He has forgiven all sins which means He can heal all wounds. He can grow peace where it should not be able to grow. He can crush the consequences of sin, of dysfunction, and cruelty. So look to Him. Look to the faithful Bridegroom who gave up everything to serve His Bride and He will give you peace.

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