When you pray, do you believe that God hears you? When you are in a difficult situation, do you believe that God sees you and understands what is happening? I do! There were some wonderful things in my childhood, but there were some things that happened to me that should never happen to any one let alone to a child. Even with some of those horrible things, I know that God not only saw what was happening, but He was with me and was hurting with me. The thing that is so amazing about God is how He can take some of the worst things and most painful experiences and turn them into a piece of beauty in us. What God has done in me through healing and teaching me to forgive is beyond my ability to even describe, but what I can say is that He allowed me to see that He heard my cry. He drew me closer to Him through all of it. Last week we left off with Hagar becoming pregnant with Abram's child and she began to treat Sarai with contempt. As a result, Sarai mistreated her and Hagar ran away. We will pick up the story from there and see how God met Hagar in a painful place; please read Genesis 16:6-16.
There are a few things in these verses that caught my attention that I want to share with you. The first was the fact that God called Hagar by name and even mentioned that she was Sarai's servant. When Hagar explained that she was running away, God told her to go back and submit to Sarai's authority. There was a spiral of events that had taken Hagar here with the first being that Hagar became Abram's second wife with no choice on her part. We are not told how Hagar felt about this turn of events; however, I can imagine that it couldn't have been easy to be told that you were going to become the wife of your master's husband for the sole reason to bear him a son. Then she became pregnant and we are told that she treated Sarai with contempt and Sarai's reaction was to treat her "harshly." Perhaps going back and submitting to Sarai's authority was going to help her with how Sarai was treating her. This is so important to remember; we need to remember that the person in leadership has authority and we need to respect their authority.
God also reassured Hagar that He heard her cry and instructed her to name her son Ishmael, which means "God hears." Oh, how important this is! God didn't assist Hagar to run to a new land, instead He told her to go back and submit. Just because He doesn't answer our cries in the way we expect, we can know that He hears our cries. This is so beautiful and blesses me so much to think about because we know that He wants what is best. God knew that it would be best for Hagar and Ishmael to go back to Abram's household and God knows what is best for us. The other wonderful thing that Hagar came to realize was that God saw her. She came to know Him as the God Who Sees. Imagine what would happen if we all believed that God hears and sees us!
Do you believe that God sees and hears you?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesday and Soli Deo Gloria.