Today is one of my favorite days of the week, because I get to be with some of my favorite women EVER for Bible Study! I've been up all night in the book of Genesis, and just realized it's 1:16 am... way past this mama's bedtime. I'm the type of person who loves to be asleep by 9:30, but that just never happens for us. Ministry always seems to happen at night, but we love the privilege of serving, even though it requires a few late nights in the week.
As I've been reading the story of Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 16, I am reminded of the fact that God is all-seeing. Hagar was pregnant and fled to the wilderness from Sarai, her mistress, because of the mistreatment she was receiving from her. It was in the wilderness that the angel of the Lord came to her, and spoke God's promise to her. This is what she said to the Lord in verse 13. She said, "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." After that, she had the strength to return to her mistress and bear the child God promised would be a great nation for Abraham's sake.
I cannot help but have a load of compassion for Hagar. Somehow my heart just goes out to the pain she experienced when I read that story. In her deepest pain, in her wilderness, God saw her and met her at her point of need.
Our wilderness is often the very place that God meets us. Listen to what He say in Hosea 2:14 referring to Israel:
"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt."
If you find yourself in a "wilderness" season in your life, a time of desparation, loneliness, or need, then friend, you need to get that chin up! You are in the very place God wants to meet you, and bring forth the promises He has for your life. Even though Ishmael wasn't the promised child God had to give Abraham, he still made him a great nation for Abraham's sake. He heard Hagar's affliction. Verse 20 of Genesis 21 says, "God was with the boy as he grew up." What a comfort to a mama's heart! God fulfilled promises to Hagar through Ishmael, and He will fufill promises out of your wilderness as well. Put your hope and trust in Him, because He will be faithful to meet you at your point of need!
I pray this makes sense to you. I skimmed the story in this blog, but there is so much more detail to know about the story of Abraham and Sarai, Hagar and Ishmael. If you are not familiar with the story, then I encourage you to read Genesis 16 and 21. Ask God to help your understanding and to open your eyes to the wonderful things in His word.
If you've had wilderness experiences out of which you've seen God bring about promises, we would LOVE for you to share that in a comment. What an encouragement to others it is to testify to what the Lord has brought us through!
~Josh & Jill