“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” Genesis 21:17
Communication is not solely restricted to the words we say. We also communicate through the words we do not say. Even our tears tell a story.
Have you ever had the desire to pray, but you didn’t know what words to pray?
As someone who values, language, I often feel frustrated when I struggle to find the right words to say during prayer. There are times when I am at a loss for words and can only express myself through a sigh. On other days, I allow myself to cry as a way of connecting with my emotions.
Communication with God is not limited to verbal words. He can understand our cries and knows where they originate from. This is the beauty of communicating with God.
One way we learn this is in the book of Genesis.
Hagar was Sarah’s slave whom Sarah mistreated and grew to despise. She had difficulty accepting that Hagar not only conceived before she did but also that she would ultimately give birth to Abraham’s baby, even though this was Sarah’s idea in the first place. Eventually, Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, and as he grew older, Sarah wanted to ensure Ishmael would not share in the inheritance of her son Isaac. She told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Upon doing so, Hagar was distraught and afraid her son would die of thirst.
“When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” Genesis 21:15-17 NIV
In reading this, I learned that God often responds to our words, our cries, and the cries of others around us. We should pray with our words, but when we cannot, God hears us.
God, thank you for being the God that sees and the God that hears. I may not know all the words to say, but even why I cry, you hear me. I find peace in knowing that I don’t need to have everything figured out.
How has God comforted you when you didn’t know what to say?