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The matter distressed Abraham because it concerned his son. Genesis 21:11

Read: Genesis 21:6-13

Listen: Genesis 21


Abraham finds himself experiencing many emotions at the great feast to celebrate his new son Isaac. On the one hand, he experiences joy because of his son’s birth. On the other hand, there is also pain. To make way for their son Isaac, Sarah wants to get rid of Abraham’s other son Ishmael. And this tears him up.

If we think about it, we all experience this to varying degrees. While there is joy when we land that next job, we know that we’ll say “goodbye” to our co-workers. Though we celebrate graduating from school, we experience the pain of leaving behind some dear friends. A move to a new neighborhood is filled with both sorrow and expectation. Both joy and pain come because of the “ripple effects” of relationships and the decisions we make.

Consistently experiencing both joy and pain seems to be a reality of living in this broken world. Revelation 21:4 tells us that there will come a day when our God will “wipe away every tear.” What Jesus started in redeeming and restoring the world, that day will be brought to completion. One day, our God will make sure we experience joy without pain. This truth allows us to have hope in the future, appreciate daily the glimpses of that restoration, and trust our God along the way.


We have so much to be thankful for today. Find a quiet place to approach God in prayer. Use your time thanking him for his promise of bringing complete restoration to this world and giving us glimpses of restoration along the way.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.