Yesterday, I talked about one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Today we’re going to talk about another one. I love how God showed Himself to Hagar after she’d been so mistreated by one of God’s most faithful servants, Abram, and his wife.
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’”(Genesis 16:7-8, NIV)
After having a pretty secure (if not entirely free) life as one of Sarai’s handmaidens, Hagar suddenly found herself alone and pregnant. She’d been instructed to sleep with her mistress’s husband, and the union had resulted in a pregnancy that Sarai wanted. But even this did not make her mistress happy.
So, Hagar felt she had no choice but to flee. She was traveling alone in the desert when God reached out and started a conversation with her.
When Hagar explained that she was running away, God instructed her to return to her mistress. Then He went on to speak of her unborn child, promising that he will live freely in the land among the rest of his family … even it wasn’t going to be quite a happily ever after situation:
“The angel of the Lord also said to her:
‘You are now pregnantGenesis 16:11-12 (NIV)
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.’”
Still, Hagar got the point. The conversation led her to a beautiful revelation about who God is and what He was doing in her life.
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.”Genesis 16:13 (NIV)
Not every pregnancy is easy or fun. Some of them, in fact, are very, very hard.
Maybe you’ve experienced a difficult pregnancy of your own due to disease or illness. You may lack the support of a community, or be under a heavy load of stress. But, just as God saw Hagar in the midst of her pain and fear, He sees you. He sees your difficult pregnancy, and He is watching over you.
God, when I’m tempted to worry or fret, help me to turn to You. When discouragement calls my name, let me remember that I am seen by You, my loving Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.