This morning I woke up with a heavy heart. We are all experiencing life differently these days. We are in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. I’ve heard that a lot and it makes so much sense.
This morning, I remembered the story of Hagar in Genesis 16:1-15.
She was Sarai’s servant who was given to Abram so that she would give him a child. Sarai had borne Abram no children so she took it upon herself to make it happen in her own way. And boy is that another lesson for another day! But today, we will focus on Hagar.
When Hagar became pregnant, she began to despise Sarai. The Bible says in verse 6,
“But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.”
Hagar left. She literally said forget this, I’m out of here.
An angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness by a spring of water in the desert. She was pregnant, alone and feeling hopeless. But the visit from the angel was life changing for her. Despite him telling her to go back to Sarai and that her son would not be the son of promise and that he would experience hostility in all of his relationships and would be like a wild donkey. She still obeyed and she returned.
But she didn’t return before an encounter with the Lord. One of my favorite verses of the Bible is Genesis 17:13,
“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
This verse gives me chill bumps everytime. I put myself in Hagar’s sandals and I remember all the times when I felt alone and abandoned. All the times that I found myself in a hard situation and all I could do is think to run away from it. And there in my misery, sadness, grief and loss….He saw me. He saw me just as I was. He is El Roi– the God who sees me.
And He does the same to you. He sees you right where you are.
I followed this story a little more this morning because I wondered why God would send her back to her mistress. Why wouldn’t He scoop her up and place her somewhere else where she could be free?
I continued to read and came to chapter 17 verse 20 where the Lord says to Abraham,
“As for Ishmael (Hagar’s son), I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.”
Then in chapter 21, Sarah asks Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out because she didn’t want Ishmael to be heir with their son Isaac. God tells Abraham to do as Sarah says and so he gives them bread and a skin of water and sends them away.
They go into the wilderness, all the water is gone and I can imagine it is very, very hot. She has Ishmael sit under a bush for some shade and she goes to sit down opposite him. The Bible says she sits about the distance of a bowshot. And then what she says next at the end of verse 16 gave me chills,
“Let me not look on the death of the child.”
Y’all. She was preparing to lose her child. She was preparing for him to die and she couldn’t stand to watch it. I don’t know that I’ve ever really realized that. Here she was in the desert again, feeling abandoned, hopeless and alone. The bible said that she lifted up her voice and wept. She was done. She was completely done. Could you imagine? She had just lived through hell. She was shamed and rejected and here she was again in the desert about to lose her son.
As this is going on, the boy is crying and the Bible says that God heard him. In Genesis 21:17-19 it says,
“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”
God made a promise back in chapter 17 verse 20 and He was not about to break that promise. Who is like our God? He is faithful and does not break His promises. He shows up in our hardest moments and He saves us.
Hagar had to go back to a difficult situation. Her and Ishmael endured suffering, shame and rejection, but God did not forget them. His promise for their life was fulfilled.
There are seasons in our lives where we are going to have to endure hard things. Many of us are going through very difficult situations right now. But God hasn’t forgotten us. He sees us right where we are. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives and you better believe they will be fulfilled. God does not break His promises to you. He never has and He doesn’t intend to start now.
Cry out to Him today. Wherever you are, whatever your situation may be. Call out to Him. He is there. He is waiting.
And to all of my mommas out there struggling with their kiddos. Stay the course. Pray for your kids and speak life to them. God hears them and He hears us. God has a plan and purpose for your child and it will be fulfilled.
I love you all and I pray that you are encouraged today by El Roi-the God who sees you.