In Genesis Chapters 16 and 21 we see a very remarkable story of Hagar and her son Ishmael. In a lot of ways, many of us can relate to the characters of the Biblical account. Their experiences, fears, emotional tensions and conflicts are no far cry from the events unfolding before our eyes and in our lives in 2020.
Faith over fear
It begins in Genesis chapter 16 where Sarah, Abraham's wife; has the 'brilliant' idea for Abraham to impregnate her servant girl, Hagar, in order for her children to be Sarah's. The idea was good in theory, but troublesome in that context because Abraham and Sarah had already received the promise from God that He would give them a child (Isaac) by way of a truly supernatural conception.
So, by agreeing to have Abraham lay with Hagar in order for her to produce offspring for Sarah, the couple was exhibiting doubt and demonstrating a fear of the future. They both were allowing their fear to motivate them instead of faith in the promise of God to them.
We could stop right here and criticize Abraham and Sarah for their faithlessness, but instead, we will journey ahead to learn more from their lives and relate their stories to ours.
Hagar conceived Ishmael and we would think that Sarah her mistress would be pleased, but she was angered because she was embittered against Hagar because she still could not conceive. Hagar ran away from the wrath of her mistress but in her distress in the wilderness God saw her. It is in this wilderness that God revealed to Hagar His love for her and she identifies Him as: 'the God who sees me' (El Roi).
God sees me
Amidst these turbulent times, it is easy to feel unseen. It's not hard to lose sight of who you are while trying to do the right thing. Like Hagar, many of us may feel displaced and out of touch with that which is familiar and safe for us. Hagar obeyed instructions and did what she was told and produced the demanded outcome yet she was despised by those who ordered her to do it. Many of us can relate to feeling ostracized or rejected for doing what's right.
I encourage you today, God sees you. In the wilderness he sees you, you don't have to run away from that which scares you and confronts you because you have a big God who sees it all and will serve justice from His throne. God promises to keep and sustain His children all throughout His word and I admonish us to take heart as Hagar did; God will not allow us to run away or be sent away empty handed. He will provide all we need and reveal wells of water in the wilderness to quench our thirst; because He is the God who sees and who hears.
Many folks have lost jobs, loved ones, potential opportunities and assets to the tumult of pandemics and economic chaos these days. I speak to you as one who is no stranger to the vicissitudes of these seasons and I challenge you to seek and see the one who sees you and listen for the voice of Him who hears you above the clamour of the times.
Just like Hagar, sent away, rejected, alone and dying- we are not forsaken, God sees us!
Victor Brown is a Christian Creative and singer-songwriter from Kingston Jamaica. He enjoys reading and writing as well as creating music. He is currently a worship leader and creative director in Michigan USA.