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Learn from Hagar

Learn from Hagar

Hagar was the woman Sarah instructed to sleep with her husband in order to get pregnant so her husband could have a son. Remember, this was normal back then, but that doesn’t make it right. Sarah planned this when she didn’t trust that God’s promise involved her. After Hagar got pregnant, even though that’s exactly what Sarah’s plan had been, Sarah became jealous of her. She treated Hagar so awfully she ran away. However, an angel called to Hagar and told her,

Go back to your mistress and submit to her.Genesis 16:9

The angel then instructed Hagar to name her child Ishmael, which means “God hears,” and the angel promised that her child would be a “wild donkey of a man” (Genesis 16:12).

That might sound silly to you and me, but to Hagar, being a “wild donkey of a man” meant her son would be free and untamed. He would have freedom and would not be a slave like she was. However, God did say he would “be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him” (Genesis 16:12). His life wouldn’t be easy, but he would have freedom. Freedom was precious to Hagar, something she didn’t fully understand. She was a slave, and now she was in the desert feeling hopeless and bound to loneliness. God met her in the middle of her hopelessness and despair and offered her this promise. She went from being stranded alone in the desert to being assured that God was there for her.

Hagar responded by saying,

You are the God who sees me... I have now seen the One who sees me. — Genesis 16:13

How beautiful is that — that in despair, through late nights as a runaway slave in the desert, and after years of being overlooked, used, and hurt, she realized that she had a God who saw her? She realized that even in her despair and on her darkest day, God was there. He wasn’t far away in the clouds or just chilling on the streets of gold; He was sitting with her. He saw her, He knew her, and He was with her. So she listened. She obeyed even when it meant she had to go back to a place of hurt.

Boldness isn’t comfortable.
Boldness isn’t always without tears.
Boldness doesn’t always take place in a joyful moment.

Boldness isn’t exclusive to the celebrities who talk about Jesus while accepting their Grammy. Boldness sometimes takes place in your low, in the hurt, and in the icky. Boldness is walking away from what’s comfortable and choosing to be closer to God rather than safe.

  • Boldness can look different for each of us, but you can’t be bold unless you realize that your God sees you.

And when you realize God sees you, it feels like a hug from someone who cares. I’m lucky to have an earthly father who loves me well and gave me that hug after that hard season, but I know many of you may not have that. I want you, wherever you are right now, to look up. Your God sees you. Look around you; you’re not alone, and your God stands with you. Feel your heartbeat. Your God isn’t finished with you yet. Your despair may be real. You may hate hugs. Your pain may feel never-ending, but maybe, like Hagar, God is calling you to be bold and continue walking in this season. And you aren’t walking alone.

Excerpted with permission from What Will They Think? by Grace Valentine, copyright Grace Valentine. 

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Your Turn

You’re not alone in your situation. Your circumstances aren’t hopeless. God sees you. Be bold in your belief in Him. Be bold! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full