Reading: Genesis 21:8-21 (Click to read text)
Our text for today starts out telling us that the child grew and was weaned. My son is slowly getting weaned. We know that in a few months, he'll stop nursing. In many ways I am anxious for that. That will give us a little more independence, especially at nighttime when nursing is still a part of his bedtime routine. But a part of me also knows that when we get to that point, we will pass into a new phase of his childhood, which means that he is growing up. Part of me would love to keep him at this stage.
I'm writing this on the second full day of staff training. Since our arrival for training, we've had some very good theological discussions. Today, we talked about how we see growth in ourselves and others. In the short time we've been together, I've seen growth in these young adults who will work at camp this summer. And I've thought about the fact that their parents have raised them, weaned them, and passed them off into new phases of their lives. And they did that with the confidence that others will help them to continue to grow as a person.
We see that in our Bible story for today. Hagar and her son, Abraham's offspring, are send off with the confidence that God will be with them and help them. I'm sure they grew as people, too, because of that experience. When there are people in our lives who move into other phases, we can be confident of God's presence in their lives and hopeful that they will continue to grow, even if we are not with them. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Pray for someone who is moving into a new phase of life.
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