Monday, October 7, 2013
God is the One Who Sees You – Thoughts from the Life of Hagar
One that is really close to my heart is the Chasing History link up hosted by Kaitlyn at It Just Takes One. She’s a self-described Florida girl who has fallen in love with Birmingham. A college girl who is also the intern at (in)courage. Chasing History has us examining the lives of women from the Bible to learn their stories and how they can be relatable today. It felt like a stretch to connect the dots from that far into the past to my more recent past, but I just didn’t want to let this one go.
As God was building up his new nation in Abram, a young woman was woven into the fabric of this family and soon-to-be-nation’s history. A young foreigner with no obvious connection to Yaweh, His plan, or Abram’s destiny. Sarai’s young maidservant had come with her out of Egypt and had been living with Abram and Sarai in the deserts of Canaan.
After having been with them for a decade and waiting with them for the Lord’s promise of a son to be delivered, Hagar is suddenly caught between of a wife whose patience in the Lord’s timing is waning and a husband who loves his wife more than anything and wants to believe that there might be more than one way to God’s promise. The result is a young, pregnant girl who feels not only the surge of life within her, but the surge of destiny. And in that surge, her pride rises, and she angers her mistress (because let’s not forget, Sarai is still her owner) to point of being mistreated and running away.
I’ve always thought that this was a miserable situation all around. Hagar had no ground to stand on. She was a woman, a foreigner, and a slave. Her very life was in the hands of Abram and Sarai and while they might have thought they were doing her a kindness by incorporating her into God’s plan, it was still their choice, not hers.
When Hagar decides she can no longer endure the treatment, she flees into the desert.
It is in the desert – at probably the lowest point in her life – that Hagar encounters the living God. After Eve, she is the first woman in the Bible in see God, and in seeing and meeting Him, receives a blessing and promise of protection directly from Him.
In this conversation with God, Hagar names Him, the God Who Sees Me, submits to His will, and returns to Abram and Sarai and gives birth to her son, Ishmael.
Years later, after God’s promise was fulfilled as it was meant to be and Sarai, now Sarah, gives birth to Isaac and demands that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away, Hagar once again encounters God in the desert. She was subject to the actions of a couple who had chosen to take God’s plan into their own hands and caused her to pay the price. Despite that, the God who Sees acted compassionately to care for Hagar and Ishmael and save their lives.
There were so many times in the eighteen months before my desert journey and numerous times throughout those three years that followed that I felt pushed and pulled by situations and circumstances outside of my control. At times, it even felt like I was paying the price for the actions of others. But through it all, the Lord was indeed the God who Sees, and in His perfect way, and in His perfect timing, He cared for me and my family and carried us through the desert times into something much more beautiful.
If you are struggling and feel battered by your life as it swirls around you, take heart and know that the Lord is not unaware of your troubles. He very often meets people in their desert times because that is where we sometimes hear Him best. If you call out and seek His face, He will reveal Himself to you and give you the comfort and the hope that can carry you through any dry spell or storm.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtags #desertjourney and #inspirationalandfaith80 if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!