This morning as I am reading my devotion ~ I think it was written just for me for such a time as this. I want to start with saying, "God is still there." I always have to read the end of the book. It is one of my bad habits but this story gets ugly. So to inspire you to hang with me I am giving you the good news first.
Have you ever been wounded by God's people? We only have to look at God's Word to see an example of one of God's people who was wounded by another of God's people. Hagar's story went like this. She was Sarah's (the mother of God's people) handmaiden. Sarah was promised a son by God but decided to manipulate the situation and take matters into her own hands~ control at the finest. She decides God is not big enough to deliver and He is taking way too long so she gives Hagar to her husband to sleep with to give her a child. Seriously~ how crazy its that? Hagar delivers a son to Abraham and Sarah only to be despised by Sarah who was jealous and mean. So she has Abraham kick her and her son to the curb. She was kicked all the way to Beersheba~ her very own wilderness.
Mother Sarah wounded Hagar terribly~ but God was still there. You can read the entire account below. The world is still paying for Sarah wounding Hagar~ but that is another devotion.
Where do we go from here when we are wounded? What do we do? I have not been wounded much in my life until the past several years. I am ever so thankful for that. I have been in my own wilderness but can I remind you that God is still there. Recently, someone very close to me is the one getting the stones. Much like Hagar he really had no control over the situation. Just a 16 year boy who loves Jesus. Yet~ he was told, "You are not welcome here" simply for who he is. Funny thing is~ when people manipulate and control they always wrap it up in excuses of self-righteousness. After awhile lies wrapped up in excuses become so lame that only the abusers think they make any sense. Much like Sarah made no sense in her cruelty to Hagar. Yet~ others are told the truth. "That boy is not welcome here because he is a troublemaker." I am so thankful that God is still there. That troublemaker is someone that loves God and walks with God. That troublemaker is someone I love.
Even in the wilderness Hagar cried out to God and says, "You are the God who sees me." It is easy to sink into a place of brokenness that leads to bitterness when those you love and trust wound or maybe just watch the abuse happen. Yet~ I search my heart to see when I have been the one who wounded. God ~ please forgive me! I never want to be the cause of hurting one of God's own or causing them to stumble. I never want to allow my faith to turn to agnosticism or my frustration to anger. I pray this morning that God will help me not to let my hurt turn to hardness.
Maybe we all need to be reminded of this verse.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.Fast forward to the end of the story~ God is everywhere. He is even in the wilderness. He knew Hagar's name and He knows my name too. He knows the name of the boy. God is in the dry, barren, lonely, rocky place and He is still the God who sees. The amazing thing about the wilderness is that God reveals Himself in mighty ways. He speaks a little louder and blesses a little more. He never wastes pain. When we encounter the Living God in the barren places of life we will come out calling our Heavenly Father~ "The God Who Sees Me."
I need to remind myself and you too this morning that the God of Hagar is still there!