So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Genesis 21:14
What was it like when you got the worst news of your life? You felt your stomach fall to the floor. “This can’t be happening to me,” you said to yourself. “I have to be dreaming and any minute, I’ll wake up from this nightmare.”
Surely, these were Hagar’s thoughts. Homeless? Her life with Abraham had given her security. Surely someone who loves and serves God wouldn’t be sending she and her son out to the wilderness to die! Family doesn’t act like that! Sometimes they do.
And sometimes, what once seemed impossible has just fallen upon me. I’ve been the recipient of earth-shattering news, several times. I was numb for weeks before the tears set in. So, did Hagar weep as she left Abraham’s camp or was she also without feeling, walking but not in touch with her feet?
The very time I need God is the time I can turn away from Him without shedding a tear. My theology can easily take a bad turn. I believe God doesn’t see, doesn’t care, and has turned into someone who breaks His promises. Oh, but this very moment a grand opportunity for faith, a time pregnant to ask for the grace to trust the One who appears untrustworthy. This is the time to put up my shield of faith.
I know the battle. I did it again this morning at 5:00 a.m. Will you join me today where faith and faithlessness intersect?
In my Hagar moment, I’m looking up instead of down. Amen