She probably didn’t feel pretty. She was rejected, humiliated and perhaps manipulated. Her name is Hagar.
Her sad story is recounted in Genesis 21: She and Abraham conceived a son. Sadly, because of Sarah’s (Abraham’s wife) insistence, Hagar and baby son were rejected and sent off to wandered in the desert of Beersheba. (Summary paraphrased from Genesis 21.)
Sometimes we’re also sent to the desert of rejection, pain, isolation and hopelessness. How unfair, how disturbing the situation seems. Hagar sobbed as she tasted the bitterness of anguish as she grieved for her and her son who cried with hunger.
But as her loneliness became unbearable, something happened. God sent an angel to reveal the plan for her and for her son whom she named Ismael.
Hagar must have breathed a sigh of relief, wonder and comfort.
“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’” (Genesis 16:13).
Hagar had believed she was alone, discarded and hopeless. But deep in her solitude, hope exploded in her because when no one knew her sorrow. Through His eyes of love, God saw her distress! And when she realized that He saw it all, for her, that was simply enough.
It should be enough for us too. In the midst of today’s unfair chaos, God sees. In circumstances that are out of our control, God sees. And although they’re bigger than us, God sees. They may threaten to sink us into despair but God is watching.
God Takes Action
Even when no one suspects, He sees the secret places where our loneliness hides. That’s why He takes action.
- He gives His promise: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- He wipes out fear: "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- He offers His constant protection: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” (Psalm 46:1-2).
- He promises freedom: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
- He places a limit to our suffering: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 7:10).
When we’re dry with loneliness, wondering through the desert of suffering, God pours His promises bringing in fresh freedom from fear. If we believe He’s with us, we know comfort. If we know He knows our anguish, we find hope. If we know He’s attentive to our needs, we find peace. And if we know He’s planning our next step, we rest in expectations for goodness and blessings.
Father, in the loneliness of my pain I often felt alone and abandoned. But then Your Word pierced through the darkness to give me incredible hope, strength to face tomorrow and reassurance of Your presence till I get there. Thank you, Lord!
What part of your loneliness do you believe God sees?
Bonus article on today’s topic.
Celebrate with me! My new release, Now I See: How God’s Amazing Grace Transforms the Deepest Pain to Shining Joy won the 2023 Memoir of the Year Golden Scroll Award.
Your copy waits for you HERE.
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