The other day I realized that I have had more time by myself in the past 8 months than I’ve had in the past 28+ years! Moving to Florida where you know absolutely no one can be like that!! So much “alone time” has allowed to do many of the things I enjoy but has also resulted in some lonely hours. In those darker moments, it is easy to feel completely forgotten and virtually invisible.
Hagar must have been overwhelmed with loneliness and despair sitting near a spring in the wilderness (Genesis 16:7). She had slept with her boss’s husband (Sarai’s husband, Abram) and was now pregnant by him. Not too surprisingly, Sarai “treats her harshly” and Hagar flees. In this wilderness place, Hagar is found by the angel of the LORD who speaks to her and tells her to return and submit to Sarai’s authority over her. Hagar was in this predicament because of Sarai! Sarai had told Abram to sleep with Hagar hoping that Hagar would conceive so she, Sarai, would “obtain children through her” (Gen. 16:2)!
I love how Hagar does not seem surprised at all to be talking to the angel of the LORD in the middle of this wilderness! Don’t you love it when you hear from God in an unexpected place?
After her conversation with the angel of the Lord, Hagar “called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees” (Gen. 16:13). Hagar was an Egyptian, yet she KNEW she had just had an encounter with the one true God and that He SAW her. God saw not just a slave, not just her dire situation, but HER – the person, the woman who had felt invisible and forgotten. The angel of the LORD had assured Hagar that the child she bore also had a future filled with too many descendants to count (Gen. 16;10). He told her to name the child Ishmael “because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.” (Gen. 16:11). Although it is not recorded here I think we can safely assume that before the angel of the LORD appeared, Hagar was loudly sobbing and complaining. The Lord did not simply hear her, He heeded her, He was listening attentively. God was fully present, alert, listening and watching.
God, who saw Hagar in her despair and loneliness had a plan for Hagar and her child, He has a plan for me. He knows my moments of loneliness, He knows your darker moments. Not only does He see me, He understands me completely. He HEEDS my afflictions, I have His undivided attention. God permits loneliness, and afflictions, for His purpose and my good. He has not and cannot forget me – even in Florida!!! The same God who saw Hagar in the wilderness, sees me – I LOVE that about Him!!!!
P.S. Not to worry, God is making sure there are less lonely moments every day!