“You are a God of seeing…
Truly I have seen Him who looks after me.”
~a pregnant Egyptian slavewoman, in the middle of nowhere… a nobody really… making much of the One who found her in the wilderness, gave her water, and blessed her.
When in the wilderness, it makes sense to look at what we see: parched earth, lack of people, short scruffy bushes, sun-crisped grass.
Yet when there, — here– in the wilderness, that’s not all we see.
In the wilderness, with its beating-down heat, we have:
- a God who sees.
- a God who knows the desperation of our situation.
- a God who hears our cries.
- a God who isn’t thrown off or surprised by our fears, emotions, concerns
- a God who already has a plan to bless
Today I sat down to work on an assignment from my counselor. In my journal, I began listing every good thing God has done over the past 2 months. 10 pages later, I had 95 separate things to express gratitude for… what a good, attitude-shaping assignment!
(for Hagar, in the wilderness / for us, in our wilderness)
…is that God is at work in the wilderness. He has good plans. He teaches us as we sit among the thorns and brambles. He provides. He accomplishes all that He means to accomplish.
It doesn’t mean it’s not hard.
Hagar had lived as a slave. She was given to Abram as a possession. She was used sexually, to produce an heir. Then, pregnant, she was mistreated by Sarai, so much that she ran away.
Into the desert.
Her “hard” was really, really hard.
Yet God was with her, in the hard. He spoke to her, in the hard.
I’m so thankful for the story of tired, used, confused Hagar. Who among us hasn’t felt that way, at least in part?
The name she gave God is a true one: “You are the God who sees me.”
The statement that would strike fear in the heart of a wicked doer, provides comfort for the weary, the broken, the desperate.
The poor, physically-needy slavewoman in the desert was seen and pursued by the Almighty God who made all things. That fact should stun us and cause us to marvel at the upside-down Kingdom of the living God.
As the people of God, we experience hard things.
- “I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as those this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means that you are called to share Christ’s sufferings.” ~1 Peter 4:12-13
- “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!” ~James 1:2
- “Let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus, the source and the goal of our faith. For He Himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy He knew would follow His suffering…” ~Hebrews 12:1-2
Fiery. Ordeals. Tests. Trials. Sufferings. Cross.
The hard IS really hard.
But God is with us in the hard.
And He is gooder than the hard.