The God who sees you

I was touched reading the story of Hagar in the book of Genesis. Hagar was taken captive as Sarah and Abraham’s slave girl. In that day, when a couple couldn’t have children, it was the custom for the husband to sleep with the slave. The resulting child was considered the “heir” of the childless couple. Since Sarah and Abraham were childless, Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham as “his wife”. Hagar became pregnant and started lording it over Sarah. This angered Sarah so much that she started being cruel to Hagar. When Hagar couldn’t take it anymore, she ran away.

Hagar found herself pregnant and alone in the middle of the wilderness. There was no one to care what happened to her and her unborn child. Until God stepped in. An angel of the Lord came and told Hagar that she was going to have a son named “Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.” (Genesis 16:11).

The angel then asked her to go back to Sarah and Abraham. Somehow, they all managed to live together for many more years and Hagar and her son were fed and clothed. Eventually, however Sarah ends up throwing Hagar out of the house and she finds herself wandering in the wilderness once again with her now teenage son. Abraham does give them food and water, but when they run out, Hagar bursts into tears because she’s afraid her son is going to die.

Then, God comes to her once again and asks,

“Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”  Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:17-19)

When no one else was around to care or help, God saw. God cared. The situation Hagar was in was crappy. She should never have been sold in to slavery. Sarah could have and should have treated her better. Sometimes, unfortunately, really sucky things happen in this life. The temptation I have often fallen into is to get angry at God for allowing bad things to happen. When I’m hurting, it can easily start to feel like God doesn’t care. That’s why I like this story so much.

If God sees Hagar’s situation and is willing to give her water in the middle of the wilderness, He is certainly aware of our situations. In fact, in Psalms 31:7 it says “I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” 

If you’re facing some kind of trial and it feels like God doesn’t care about you, please hold onto hope. God sees you, He hears your cries of distress and He still cares. You’re not alone. Don’t give up. You will get through this and it may be that someday, you will be the angel who will help others who are feeling all alone.

Blessings.


You Are Not Alone

Sometimes, I can start to feel pretty alone and cynical. Not everyone is kind in this world. But what I keep forgetting is that there still are some kind people out there. The Lord has not forgotten us and He can send other people to help us.

I have some stories about times I was a moron and other people and the Lord did come through to help.

One time was when I was on my honeymoon with my ex husband. I had only been married a few days. Neither of us were very fond of the outdoors or insects. So, we were at a big park. I wanted to go into the buggy woods to see the lake and he didn’t. So, we agreed I’d go down the trail a few minutes, see the lake and come right back. Well, I forgot that I had NO sense of direction. I couldn’t find my way back even though it was only a few minutes away. After a half hour of wandering around in the woods, I found my way out. Except that I wasn’t anywhere near where I needed to be. I had no idea how to get from where I was to where he was waiting for me. So, I just kept walking. I walked around in the countryside for hours. Remember – I have no sense of direction. I can’t find my way when it’s a short trail let alone wandering around out in the middle of nowhere! I was praying, hoping God would help me get out of my mess. Eventually I found my way back to the main highway, which in itself was a miracle for me. Unfortunately, I still had no idea how to find my then husband but at least I knew how to get back to the hotel which was many miles away.

At one point, an ambulance came speeding down the highway in the direction I’d been and I thought, “Hmmm. I really hope they aren’t looking for me!” A few minutes later, an ambulance pulled up next to me on the highway and stopped. The driver asked, “Are you _______” And I said, “Yeah, I am” (By now, I’m feeling like a total moron.) The driver replied, “Well, we’ve been looking for you, get in.” So I got in and the ambulance took me to the police station. Then the cop drove me back to the park where my then husband was waiting.

Apparently, some nice people had come to the park about a half hour after I’d gotten lost. They had a cell phone and were able to call for help and comfort my ex who was worried sick. While I was alone and in trouble, those kind people, the local ambulance drivers and police departments were all looking for me. By some miracle – I managed to not trip and hurt myself on the rocky trail. I managed to not run into the wrong people and I managed to find my way to a spot where the search party could find me. I was rained on and tired after hours of walking but I was ok.

Oh no, I’m being a moron again…part #2
Another time, I decided that I could get home on the gas I had in my car. I was wrong. As I was nearing my exit, my car started slowing way down. Stepping on the gas pedal did nothing. I managed to just barely coast onto the exit ramp by driving on the shoulder while annoyed motorists sped by on my left. After I came to a complete stop on the shoulder of the exit, I flipped on my hazard lights, turned my car off and looked for my purse.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take my purse that day. It was at home – a few miles away. I had no cell phone, no credit cards. I did find twenty dollars in my car. Halleluiah! I figured I could walk to the nearest gas station, buy a can and walk back. Before I was able to even walk off the exit ramp, two people had rolled down their windows and asked if I needed a ride to the nearest gas station. It wasn’t that far away, so I walked.

But, it was nice to know that there were several people who were willing to help me out in my predicament. When I got back to my car with the gas can, a cop happened to be driving by. He pulled over behind me and put the gas in my car for me. (And speeders can thank me, because while he’s helping me, he’s not out writing tickets!) So, three people stopped to help me in a mess I basically got myself into.

The next morning, my car wouldn’t start on the little bit of gas that was in it. I prayed, “Lord, if you’ll get me to a gas station, I WILL fill it right up this time.” On my second attempt, the engine purred to action (oh, such a beautiful sound) and I drove right to the nearest gas station.

Oh brother… moment #3
I went to the grocery store with my debit card. Unfortunately, the pin for the card wasn’t working anymore. I didn’t have a backup plan. (I know, big mistake). The store didn’t accept credit cards, so they couldn’t run it through without the pin. My cash was at home. I asked them to hold onto my groceries while I went home and got some money.

As I was walking out into the parking lot, feeling pretty down for a number of reasons, I heard a woman behind me call out “Mam…” I turned around and she said she would like to pay for my groceries for me. Wow. I was amazed by such kindness. I wouldn’t let her because I’m stubborn. But, it really meant something to me to have someone be so kind and concerned about someone else. That was a gift to me that was greater than the money she could have given me.

If you’re feeling alone, take heart. It’s ok to reach out. There are many kind people out there, please don’t let those who aren’t discourage you. I hope these stories also help people to know they are not alone when they feel like morons or get themselves into a big mess. I know all about that! And remember – God can send US to be his angels to help others when they are in distress.