Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one even knows you are alive? If we as free women sometimes feel that way, I can’t imagine how Hagar must have felt when she decided to run away from Sarai. Hagar was a slave; she wasn’t free to live her life as she pleased. She was the slave of Sarai, wife of Abram, and Sarai chose to give Hagar to Abram as a wife because Sarai was barren. Now the fact that Sarai was taking matters into her own hands rather than waiting on the Lord is a topic for another blog post, but Sarai thought she was doing the right thing when she did it. Her plan backfired on her when Hagar became pregnant and, as scripture states, she treated her mistress with contempt.
Sarai was quite unhappy with her barrenness, and, now that Hagar was pregnant and was treating her disrespectfully, she was really angry. She blamed Abram for the situation, and Abram told her to do whatever she wanted to with Hagar. After all, Hagar was her slave. Therefore, she treated Hagar very harshly. Sarai’s abuse resulted in Hagar’s decision to run away. This was a pretty drastic measure for Hagar. The country was rugged and she was alone and pregnant, running away from the only home she knew. She really didn’t have a plan; she just wanted relief from the abuse.
Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.”Genesis 16:7-9
Hagar responded by calling God El-Roi – “the God who sees.” She realized that God truly saw her amidst her struggles and she was willing to submit to His plan for her life; a plan that included her obedience to her mistress. We may feel abandoned by everyone, even by God, but, when we realize that God truly sees us in our time of distress we are moved by His mercy to be obedient to His call on our lives – even when that means going back to what we don’t understand.
Perhaps you find yourself in a situation you don’t understand. Perhaps you can’t see how God can bring good out of your current situation. I challenge you to be obedient to God’s call and to trust Him for the outcome – even when you don’t understand His plan.
About the Writer:
Anna is a mother to three grown children, Nana to four grandchildren and enjoys coordinating Prison Ministry for her church. Her desire is to finish this life well by pointing others to faith in Jesus Christ and to a deeper reliance on Him.