I love Hagar’s story, mainly because she’s not a superstar Bible character—she’s a servant. A nobody. Hagar’s story tells us how God deals with nobody's.
Here’s the backdrop: Hagar was Sarai’s handmaid. When Sarai couldn’t get pregnant naturally, she gave Hagar to her husband, Abram, to produce a family heir. Why Sarai couldn’t see how that little plan could go south in about a million directions, I’ll never know, but the end result (surprise, surprise) was jealousy and conflict between the two women. The conflict became so intense, Hagar ran away.
But the story doesn’t end there. God finds Hagar, and whispers the most interesting question: “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” Obviously, God knew the answer. But Hagar didn’t. She hadn’t thought things through that far.
But God knew every bit of her story; saw every moment of her life. God tenderly instructs her to go back. And guess what? She does. Not because her circumstances would change (they wouldn’t), but because she came to realize something every single one of us can take comfort in, too: God. Sees. Me.
“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’.” (Genesis 16:13)
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/CHAI SODA