We have just got home from a lovely week of holidaying in the snowy french alps. I am feeling very refreshed and only slightly overwhelmed by the mountainous laundry pile. One of the best things about this week (as well as all the stunning mountains, glorious sunshine, beautiful deep snow, wonderful family, precious quiet times, engrossing reading, delicious cheese, plenty of wine, much-needed rest, being cooked for by my amazing mum-in-law, etc) was watching my kids learning to ski. They all did so well. I was especially impressed with my youngest who is 6. Without batting an eye lid she joined a french ski class full of french kids and a mostly french-speaking teacher and literally threw herself into the business of skiing. When you asked her up the end of each lesson what she had done she would tell you, and anyone else around, that she had gone up the mountain and skied down! The teacher obviously spoke a little English but because the class was primarily french-speaking he mostly spoke french, and despite not really knowing any french, apart from the essential “Bonjour”, “Merci” and “Chocolat chaud”, she seemed to be able to follow his lead and learn. I think that is amazing.
You see I was never very strong at languages in school – to be honest I had trouble enough with English so why they would want to complicate things with French and German aswell was beyond me?! It’s just not really my thing (although I did feel pretty smug going to la boulangerie each morning and asking for “deux baguette s’il vous plait”). I do think that it would have been a different story though if they had taught the international language of “emoji”! I am fluent in this! I have a couple of friends who I communicate with regularly by text using solely this language. I think I just have the sort of brain that works visually which makes me pretty awesome with an IKEA instruction booklet I can tell you. It is probably also why bible art journaling has been such a life changing thing for me. Funnily enough I found myself speaking emoji as I read this next bit of the story from Genesis 20&21.
I was shocked 😳 that Abraham would yet AGAIN drop his wife in it with another man, King Abimelech 👑, by calling her his sister. Incidentally Sarah was an old lady by this point and still hot enough to get this King in trouble 🔥 – puts 1 Peter 3 in context doesn’t it?!. But God is sovereign and spoke to Abimelech while he slept 😴. I love how God uses Abraham to pray 🙏 and bring healing from barrenness to this household even while his own wife is still waiting. And then God is gracious in fulfilling His promise to Sarah 🙌. She says everyone will laugh 😂 at her story – a couple of oldies raising a baby 👵👴👶! Hagar doesn’t laugh though when she ends up in the desert 🏜 with Ishmael wailing 😭. I love that God hears her son crying. Isn’t it great that He doesn’t just hear our prayers for our kids but he hears their own cries too! And He is merciful in answering. The angel 😇of the Lord opens Hagar’s eyes 👀 to see a well 💧 and they are saved – Ishmael grows up knowing God with him and became an Archer🏹.
I love the different characters and stories that are weaved together on this page. Each one unique, each one overlapping, each one encountering God in his sovereignty, grace, mercy and faithfulness. I love how He cares for Abimelech and reveals Himself in a dream warning him and helping him avoid judgement. I love how He rescues Abraham from a poor choice and turns the situation around to bring him blessing and prosperity, and how Abraham gets to demonstrate God’s glory to this other nation. What a set up! I love how He has Sarah’s back and protects her, rescues and restores her and then gives her the desires of her heart. And God sends the angel of the Lord to respond to Hagar and Ishmael’s cries and saves them and goes with them on their path too. God doesn’t treat us all the same does He? He loves us uniquely and knows what is best for us. He is so good!
“At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, ‘God is with you in everything you do.'” Gen 21:22
Be encouraged friends that God is with you too – He is Sovereign over your life whether you are doing well or struggling, choosing badly or running scared, waiting for your breakthrough, sobbing your heart out in a desert or in the middle of receiving your promise. He is fluent in whatever language you speak . God really does work all things together for the good of those called according to His purpose! 👏👏👏
Lastly just check out the cute fimo emoji my eldest daughter made me for my tab! 😍 Thanks so much for reading and have a great week. Love Rach. x