Day 4

Hagar



Genesis 16:1-16, Genesis 21:8-21, Psalm 56:8

BY Rebecca Faires

I have a very little baby right now. I spend most of my hours nursing her or holding her. And when she finally happens to be sleeping somewhere that’s not my arms I’m able to do other things. But the problem is my list of “necessaries” has become so long and so urgent that I can’t even decide where to begin. I lay the baby down and just stand still with glazed-over eyes, thinking, Where do I begin? This morning while she napped, I gaped at my list with sheer, uncomprehending panic. I couldn’t set myself on a course. And if you can’t find a place to start, and then stick with your plan, nothing ever gets done. I spend the moments in between nursing sessions drifting from task to task. Homeschooling, housecleaning, writing, trying to be present and available. But these responsibilities stack on top of each other, and I inevitably find my mind aimlessly wandering.

Even the most focused among us are prone to wander. We allow ourselves little, innocent wanderings (like idly wondering if hummingbirds fly to Puerto Rico in the winter) or wide, damaging veers off the course (like refusing to forgive). And sometimes we flat-out run away. That’s what Hagar did. Sarai, later renamed Sarah, treated her maidservant harshly, and pregnant Hagar ran from her, into the wilderness. But the Lord saw her. He gives grace to those who can’t seem to take anymore.

Do you find yourself in her shoes sometimes? Not, ahem, the impregnated maidservant of a biblical patriarch so much, but by yourself in the wilderness? Those who stray, those who run, are nevertheless beloved by Him. He still attended and cared for Hagar in the desert, and He does the same for us.

God sees us even when we can no longer see straight. His providence encompasses us no matter where we go. This is not a reason to excuse and condone waywardness, but it’s a reminder of the goodness and graciousness of God, a provocation to gratefulness and an exhortation to run to Him.

He didn’t see Hagar because of anything she’d done. We aren’t told she had faith like Abraham’s. We read nothing about her devotion to God or to righteousness. As Sarai’s maidservant, she didn’t have much of a choice in the matter when it came to bearing Ishmael. And when Sarai was mean to her, she ran off in disobedience. Of course, we can all empathize with her, but the fact of the matter is, God saw Hagar and comforted her in the desert because He is good, not because Hagar was. And that is good news for all who wander.

Post Comments (68)

68 thoughts on "Hagar"

  1. Sophy Joseph says:

    I love this reminder on how faithful, good, merciful, and a God of provision, our God is. Thank you for reminding us of God’s providence in this story. Also, love the verse that reminds us God stores our tears. How good is our Father! Needed this today.

  2. Emily Terwilliger says:

    This isn’t a story I’ve spent much time thinking about, but it’s cool to see God in this part of the story- for all the human error, he still cares for his people.

  3. Bethany Lynch says:

    Amen! Needed this today!

  4. Paige Bennett-Primke says:

    Oh my mama heart aches for both Sarah and Hagar. I can empathize with Sarah on how hard it must have been to see Hagar pregnant when Sarah yearned to be pregnant for so long. And I ache for Hagar sitting in the desert watching her son waste away. The messiness of this story is a reflection of how messy my own life is and yet God still sees me.

  5. Heather Noble says:

    Hi sisters. I just feel that we can’t get caught up on the specific wording of every little thing. The point is that we are not “good people”. Abraham sinned, Sarah sinned, Hagar although maybe not described in today’s reading had sinned as well. Just like the rest of us. But we are still ALWAYS met by God and forgiven when we cry out. It’s a difficult story to understand, but I encourage you to tackle any Old Testament story with New Testament eyes.

  6. Aiyana Berryhill says:

    Unmerited/ undeserving grace! It’s comforting to know that we don’t have to do works to gain God’s acceptance such as how we have been conditioned in the world (parents, significant others, work, school etc.)

  7. Ilyse Valdes says:

    God is good

  8. Monica Davis says:

    Amen

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