Some months ago, I was going through a particularly hard patch and was feeling so weary and needy. I was crying out to the Lord in my need, but for a while it didn’t feel like He was particularly near or seem like He was coming through.
During that time, I was reminded of a woman in the Bible who found herself in a similar place. Hagar was the servant of Sarai, the wife of Abram (who would later be called Abraham). God had promised Abram and Sarai that they would have a child in their old age, but instead of waiting for God’s timing, they took things into their own hands. Following an eastern custom, Abram had a son by Hagar instead. When Sarai saw that Hagar had conceived instead of her, she despised and mistreated her, and Hagar ran away.
Hagar found herself in a wilderness and place of need, but the beauty of the story is that there the Lord found her. Genesis 16:8 says,
“And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness…”
He appeared to her and told her what she should do, that she should return to her mistress, and gave her a promise:
“…Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.”
“And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me [El-Roi]…”
Some years later, after Isaac, Abraham’s promise son, was born, Hagar and her son were sent away and she once again found herself in a dry, weary wilderness. This time her need was far more desperate. There was no more water, and she cast her son under one of the shrubs so that she wouldn’t need to watch him die. But again, God heard the cries of Hagar and her son.
“And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.” Genesis 21:19
God saw Hagar in her wilderness. He heard her cries. He saw her needs and met them. The first time He gave her guidance and the second time He gave her water. Both times He gave her a promise. That place of desperate need became a place where Hagar knew for herself a little more of what God is like, and His care for her.
I was reminded that, like Hagar, God sees me in my wilderness, in my weariness, in my need. He hears my cries and though it may seem like He delays His coming, He always comes through. He gives Himself, the Living Water (Jn 4:10, 14). He makes a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, and He gives drink to His chosen people (Is 43:19-20). He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness (Ps 107:9). He reveals Himself as El-Roi, the God who sees, and as the One who truly is enough.
Friend, wherever you are, whatever you’re going through, God sees you. Yes, He may feel distant, but He’s not. He sees you, and is there for you. Will you turn to Him? He wants to reveal Himself to you. He longs for you to know Him. He wants to meet your needs, and to whisper His promises past the weariness, the doubt, and the fear. Don’t listen to your feelings for they can deceive you, but hold fast to Him. Trust the One who sees you and meets you where you are at. Drink from His well, and let Him satisfy you with the Living Water. Rest, and let Him breathe into you His life and His love.
“For You have found me in my desert, and this sand is holy ground; and my brokenness is mended by You, my Lord and Friend.”
With love, ❤