God was on the boy's side as he grew up. He lived out in the desert and became a skilled archer. (Genesis 21:20 MSG).

The Story
Ishmael was a son of Abraham. His mother, Hagar, had given birth to him when Sarah had not had a child. When Sarah had a child and was weaning him, she saw Ishmael mocking the child. So she asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. This they eventually did though it grieved Abraham to do it.

Though Ishmael was not the son through whom Abraham’s descendants would be counted, God did not look down on him. God loved him and was with him even as he grew in the wilderness. He became a skilled archer.

An archer is a person who practices archery. Archery is the practice of using a bow to shoot arrows. It is an art of high antiquity. Archery has historically been used in hunting and combat. During combat, a skilled archer could stay at a distance and reach his target. A skilled archer knew how to use his weapons very well.

Modern Application
Archers of those days understood how to use their tools. Today our tools are different. They may be computers, they may be software, and they may be equipment we use to make our jobs easier.

To be recognized in what we do, we need to demonstrate skill in the use of the tools we have to use. A painter knows what to do with his palette; a guitarist knows what to do with his guitar. How we use our tools really matters a lot.

Questions to think on:
1. Are you skilled in the use of the tools given to you?
2. Do you know anyone you could mentor or encourage to understand his tools better?
3. What are your weapons today?

While you think on the questions, do not forget that God is always with you.

Remain gifted.