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.


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