Our devotional series based on the book Climbing with Abraham by David Ramos continues. Last week, we looked at Sarah's impatience - and her costly decision to take a "shortcut" by bringing Hagar into the picture. Through Sarah, we saw the consequences of not relying on God's timing and trying to "help" God out by coming up with our own solutions. It didn't work well for Sarah - and it won't for us, either.
Week 11: Read Genesis 16:7-15 (The God Who Sees)
"This is a painful scene to read. Abraham washed his hands of the conflict between Sarah and Hagar, and it escalated to the point of Hagar fearing for her life. She did what any person, and soon-to-be mother, would do - she ran away to protect her child and herself. This is where something incredible happens. Hagar is alone in the desert, forgotten and abandoned. She was a pregnant foreigner, an easy target for any dangerous persons in the area. But God planned otherwise .. He saw her when no one else did, and cared for her when no one else would.
The stories of great women and men in the Bible are meant to peel away the covering of who God really is. Of all the names God is given in Genesis, this one is my (Ramos') favorite: El Roi - the God who sees me .. We serve a God who sees. We serve a God who hears. We serve a God who is jealously vying for our attention, beckoning us to stop settling because He has so much more in store for us.
When we pray, it often feels like we're talking to nothing, like our prayers are bouncing off the walls, and our struggles are invisible to God. They're not. We're not invisible. You are not stuck, you are not forgotten, and you are not hopeless. Think of God as the ultimate Good Samaritan: God is nearby, God sees you, and God will take action."
Takeaway from today's lesson: God sees me, and what He sees He takes action on. Don't you think that sort of God, the one who came to Hagar, will listen to you when you cry out in pain?
Prayer: God, thank you that no matter what I am going through, I can have hope because I know you see what is happening and you care for me. Amen.