“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.” (Genesis 16:13–14, ESV)
So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Sometimes people do awful things to us that are beyond our control. And, to be painfully honest, we end up suffering the consequences of their sin our entire lives. And while it isn’t fair, it is what often happens in this life.
God doesn’t design such pain – each one of us is responsible for our own choices and actions – yet He is watching and His compassion won’t let our tears go unnoticed by His heart. God cares even when we feel He is nowhere to be found.
Hagar’s lot in life was grim in many ways. She was a slave; one Abraham no doubt bought when he was in Egypt. Thus, her life was already miserable before Abraham came on the scene. Things may have improved some for her in Abraham’s household since he was wealthy, but, alas, she still was a slave.
Things surely brightened – bear with me – when Sarah came up with the incredibly ridiculous plan of having Abraham and Hagar mate and then “birth the child on her knees” so that the infertile Sarah could call the son hers. Hagar went from “one of the servants” to “one of Abraham’s wives” overnight. Her status was greatly upgraded.
Yet, things didn’t go well and Sarah treated her harshly once the baby was born. Having fled the pain, now alone in the desert with her son, and in danger of dying, Hagar’s tears catch God’s intervention.
God reveals Himself to her there in the desert as the “One who Sees” and cares for her, despite the pain she has experienced. God watched over her through it all. He was aware of every harsh word and action perpetrated upon Hagar.
And God had a plan. While she would raise a stubborn man by nature, God had His eye and His blessing on this son, Ishmael. Even in the midst of our tragedies, God is watching and planning and blessing!
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.