As Hagar is out in the wilderness by a spring of water it says in Genesis 16:7 that the angel of the Lord came to her and asked her what she was doing out there. Hagar mentioned that she was fleeing from Sarai. The angel of the Lord told her to return to Sarai and that God was going to bless Hagar with a multitude of her people. She was to name her son Ishmael or “God hears”.
Hagar responded to what the angel of the Lord said by saying “Thou art a God who sees.” We were listening to the pastor explain this verse today in church. He talked about how Sarai could have had Hagar killed for running away from her since she was her servant. He also mentioned how many of us are like Sarai and instead of waiting on God and his timing we try to help God by doing our own thing and devising our own plan. It wasn’t a part of God’s original plan to involve Hagar at all.
I take some comfort In these verses because due to my own impatience, I can often act the way that Sarai did and try to “give God a hand”. I get impatient with waiting on His timing and rush ahead. You notice in Genesis 16 that neither Sarai nor Abram asked God what he thought or prayed. They simply took matters into their own hands. And now over several thousand years later the description of Ishmael and his descendants are still true today and Israel still has problems due to this decision that Sarai made.
I also take comfort in the fact that God sees me exactly where I am. It is possible that at this moment in Hagar’s life nobody else knew where she was or why she was there. God didn’t ask Hagar questions because he needed to know something. Rather he wanted to talk to her about why she was there and where she was going. Sometimes when people sin they can find themselves in strange places and circumstances. But, whether it is Jonah in the stomach of a whale or Hagar in the desert you can’t go somewhere where God is not.
Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night. Even the darkness is not dark to Thee. And the night is as bright as the day, Darkness and light are alike to Thee.”
When I say that he knows me where I am, I mean more than mere physical location. Sometimes my emotions get so mixed up that I don’t particularly understand how I am feeling. There is a status update on facebook that says, “It’s complicated”. Quite frankly, I feel this a lot. Life is sometimes complicated. I’m glad in those times when my emotions and thoughts are mixed and confusing that God sees and really he does understand, far better than I do. He understands because he has always been with me and always sees me and always has his eye upon me. He knows my thoughts before they occur.
So, even when I blow it completely this doesn’t come as a surprise to God. Nor does it mean that because I had a “Sarai moment” that God is going to give up on me. If we learn nothing by looking at the prophets such as Moses or Abram or Sarai we should learn that God can do extraordinary things through the lives of people who were very normal and sometimes got things horribly wrong. I’m glad for that because that is often where I am.