Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When God's People Wound~

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.

Matthew 18:6But 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!

Genesis 16 King James Version (KJV)

16 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lordjudge between me and thee.
But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.



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