14. Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy as he grew up… Genesis 21:14-20
Genesis 21:14 picks up the story where Hagar and her son had been sent from the home of Abraham and Sarah. Finding herself alone in a desert, with no water in sight, and overcome with her circumstances, Hagar began to cry. In the middle of her distress, God sent her a word of comfort and opened her eyes to the provision that He had made. There is nothing to suggest the well was not always there, but the scriptures clearly state that “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” Maybe Hagar was so zoned in on what wasn’t going right, that she did not notice the well. When we are faced with insurmountable problems, we sometimes get so locked into what we are up against, that we forget that “greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)
Abraham had given Hagar a skin of water … that was enough to keep her for a while, but not enough to sustain her through the desert experience. That finite skin of water was enough to take her to the infinite Source of all she could need and more. Help may come from those around us, but only God can fully satisfy all our needs. It is important to recognize that He is the ultimate provider, and to trust Him even in the midst of our crisis situations.
Hagar likely felt helpless at what she was facing. She loved her son, no doubt, but she had done all she could do. Her response was to make him as comfortable as she could in the hot desert sun, as she walked away and left him there, fully expecting him to die. Unknown to her, God had other plans, and right there in the middle of her circumstances, He opened her eyes! In the fullness of time, He caused her to see that He could take care of her needs. We may not always see what God is doing, but that does not mean that He is not working on our behalf!
Sometimes we need to do something to bring miracles to life, as in the case of Naaman who had to go wash in the Jordan (2 Kings 5:1-19), or the blind-man who was healed when he went to wash his eyes (St John 9). Moses needed to throw his rod down (Exodus 4), and Jonah needed to be tossed overboard for the storm to subside (Jonah 1), but sometimes God allows us to just “stand still” and see what He is about.
In 2 Kings 6, Elisha asked God to open Gehazi’s eyes to what was around them. In St Luke 18: 35-42 the blind man called to Jesus and received his miracle of sight. Hagar did not have anyone to speak on her behalf, but in the midst of her tears, God chose to open her eyes. May our God open your eyes to what He has placed around you today.
Genesis 19:21 shows that God was with the boy as he grew up. He was not left alone after the miracle. When God takes you out of a ‘bad patch’, He does not leave you alone either. May you see with new vision that He is looking out for you, and that He has already taken care of what you need!
Inventory/Introspection: Are my eyes open to what He wants me to see?
Personal Application: God can use the finite circumstances to show His infinite provision. “My circumstances do not change the fact that God is good.”
Father, Your faithfulness knows no end! We are thankful for the way You send Your word in perfect timing, even when we feel we can’t even look at our circumstances any more.
Your word says that You call the stars by name (Psalm 147:4) , You number the hair on our head, (Luke 12:7) and that You saw us before we were formed (Psalm 139:16). We are grateful that even though we do not always see what You are doing, we find comfort in the fact that You are working it all out for our good to the glory of Your name!
For those of us who are facing impossible situations, we choose to give You thanks for the way of escape You have already prepared. For those of us who have crossed over, we give You all praise and glory for having taken us through what we could not handle on our own. For those of us yet to experience Your miracle working power in the midst of our distress, we thank You for sending the Word ahead so can know to rest on Your power and grace to help us over the hurdles.
Nothing about us escapes You! We are truly grateful! May we never forget that You are working on the things that concern us, even when we cannot see Your hand!
Footnote: On Friday afternoon, my sister and I were discussing the importance of trusting God for the things we cannot see. On Friday night, this topic came up for discussion among members of our prayer group, and on Sunday at church, the sermon was along similar lines, as the preacher spoke on how God worked miracles with what Moses had in his hands. Hearing this three times in one weekend was enough to convince me to share in today’s blog. I am praying this will encourage your heart.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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