Hagar was a slave woman belonging to Sarah and Abraham. She was Sarah's handmaid and was ordered by Sarah to sleep with Abraham, bear him a child, and by law Sarah could take the child as her own with the power to sell Hagar. Talk about feeling insignificant, powerless, invisible, and totally alone! Now this is where I, in some small measure, identify with Hagar. For many, many years I was convinced that I had no value. I, like Hagar, was emotionally in a very dry, desolate, and lonely place.
Because of Sarah's harsh treatment, Hagar fled for her life into the wilderness in the direction of Egypt. This poor girl was..."pregnant, afflicted, humiliated, frightened and alone." At her lowest point while near a spring of water, (I love that!), the angel of the Lord appeared...Can you believe that He would appear to this insignificant, unimportant slave girl?! What a lie we allow ourselves to believe! To the angel of the Lord she was "God's image bearer with great value, dignity, and purpose." "The angel of the Lord found Hagar" (Genesis 16:7).
"Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?" (Genesis 18:8). Not once in the Bible do Sarah or Abraham ever address Hagar by name...and here, the angel of the Lord called her by name and knew everything about her! In the midst of feeling so utterly alone and insignificant, to actually hear her name spoken, must have been an incredible revelation to her. Perhaps she wasn't as unimportant and void of value as she thought! I am so thankful that several years ago our Lord, by His sweet grace, allowed me to share in Hagar's revelation and gave me the gift of significance!
"In her encounter with the angel of God, Hagar received dignity and meaning. The simple but unchanging truth that God's eyes were fixed on her empowered her with a kind of freedom no one could ever take away. She was not alone. She did matter. This freed her to do the extraordinary-to love her neighbor, to put the interests of others ahead of herself (Philippians 2:3-4), and to reflect the image of God in her relationships."
Because of this incredible revelation, Hagar does an amazing thing. For the first and only time in the scriptures, a name is given to God! Hagar calls Him El Roi..."the God who sees me." Now please just sit with that for a minute. Her God, yes,our God sees us. Don't believe the lie that you aren't of value and that you're alone in your struggles. Our God knows us intimately and like Hagar, we matter. To those of us who have struggled with insignificance and loneliness, that's huge!
Our sweet Jesus, thank you, thank you for seeing us and knowing us intimately. Thank you for showing us that we like Hagar, are significant to you and are never alone. Please help us to remember your intimate presence. You are so good to us.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Love and blessings,