Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)
It would be very easy to see Hagar as a problem to be fixed. She was supposed to be part of the solution. God was taking a long time to give Abram and Sarai the son he had promised them, so they decided to help things along by having Abram sleep with Sarai’s Egyptian servant, Hagar.
Sarai and Abram’s plan worked, and Hagar became pregnant. But then things went awry. Hagar, a foreigner and a lowly servant, realized that she carried within her something that, up to that point, Sarai had not. In Hagar’s womb was the heir to Abram’s prominence, power, position and possessions, and because she was the mother of that heir, Hagar would become the third most important person in the household, greater than Sarai and only behind Abram and her son.
Perhaps, as a foreigner and a servant, Hagar had been looked down upon in the household of Abram, or maybe she had been treated well, but the promise of future prominence and power gave her sinful nature, something we all have within us, an opportunity to rule her life. Whatever the reason, Hagar began to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt.
Sarai then saw Hagar as a problem that needed to be fixed so, with Abram’s permission, Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that Hagar ran away.
But notice what God does. For the first time in the Bible, the angel of the Lord calls a human being by name. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” (v. 8)
After Hagar responds, the angel gives her a command— “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority”—and then a promise— “I will give you more descendants than you can count” (vv. 9 & 10).
Sometimes we humans become problems for others when we grab and protect the wispy potential of a future dream being fulfilled when God has something much bigger and better in mind for us.
God put us on this earth and grafted us into his Blessing People through his Son, Jesus, so we can play a role in his great and wonderful plan of restoring and renewing all things. Life is not about us and our personal fulfillment. Life is about following Jesus and stepping into the opportunities he gives us to create a legacy of countless spiritual descendants in the new heaven and earth to come. Our best destiny is fulfilled when we rest in Jesus’ love and let him live his life through us.
Jesus can help us to see our lives, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem in the world’s eyes, as he sees them. God only sees you, he sees you as his beloved, forgiven child. It is tempting at times for us to run away, like Hagar, from difficult circumstances where God has placed us, take control and try to implement a plan of our own making. But when we do that, we step out of the perfect plan and larger legacy that God has for us. Our desire for control leads us to settle for far less than what God wants to give us.
(Please understand that I am not saying that anyone should tolerate abuse. I am pointing to Hagar’s life as a metaphor which can show us some of the dark, self-centred tendencies within our soul, so those things can be brought into God’s forgiving healing light.)
God didn’t see Hagar as a problem. He saw her as a person whom he created and still deeply loves. God not only infinitely loved and unconditionally accepted Hagar, he called her by name and invited her into his plan for her life where she would have a legacy that would be far beyond anything she could imagine.
There would be more challenges in the future, but Hagar knew that, in God’s eyes, she was individually known, greatly valued and dearly loved, and that was enough for her.
My prayer is that you will see yourself as God’s sees you, like Hagar did, and that God and his great love for you will satisfy the longings of your soul.
Dear God, please help me to trust that you see me, love me and have a plan for my life that will leave a grand legacy in the new heavens and earth to come. Help me to serve with all your other Blessing People to bless those around us as you do your work of renewing and restoring all things. Amen.