It’s actually day 20 in our Bible reading but I haven’t had time to sit and mull over what I’ve been reading.
I did come across something that struck me as odd in the telling of this story:
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where you have come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
Hagar had only done what was instructed by her master and mistress, Sarai and Abraham. She slept with him, had this baby and found herself literally left out in the cold. But it’s the angel’s words to her that quite frankly bothered me. “Submit to your authority,” he said. After all that she’d endured he asked her to return to her mistress and as a caveat, he made a promise to her–one that’s still stands today.
How many times have we found ourselves at the wrong end of the stick, being meted out a horrible injustice? Sometimes the fleeing isn’t a physical picking up of your stuff and leaving, but an emotional shut down, where we decide to check out mentally. For all intents and purposes you may still be there in the present, but in your heart, you’ve already left.
The angel’s promise reminds me that I can be placed in difficult positions, sometimes of my own choosing, and other times because of circumstances beyond my realm of control. Rather than “run like hell” I’m going to have to suck it up and learn to submit to that authority, face that personality conflict, confront that disagreement in values and be where He’s called me to be and do what He’s called me to do. After all, the promise that He’s laid in my heart and in your heart for the secret desires we have, can only come to pass if we just buckle down and face the music.
My husband did a preaching in his early years about God placing us in a room and not unlocking that door until He knew we had truly overcome that sin or personal issue. Here’s to not running away. Here’s to returning, to staying, to heeding God’s request and waiting on the promise.