There is a really dysfunctional scene in the Bible that I am inspired to write about. It’s been one of those days, so dysfunctional seemed appropriate. I hope it encourages you!
Abram, who eventually was renamed Abraham, is considered the father of faith to those of Christian and Jewish faith. He is the guy that God chose to use to redeem the world. God promised to bless this man and, through that blessing, the rest of the world would be blessed and know God. This promise was ultimately fulfilled through Jesus, who is in the bloodline of Abraham.
Even though there are a lot of good things to say about Abraham, he did not escape family dysfunction.
Abraham and his wife Sarai, eventually renamed Sarah, couldn’t have kids because Sarah was barren. Amazingly enough, God gave Abraham a promise — that He would give Abraham a natural born son through Sarah. Eventually, this comes to pass. The dysfunction happens in between.
Before Abraham and Sarah saw the faithfulness of God’s promise, which took about 25 years, they began to doubt. Sarah was so frustrated that she couldn’t have children, she told Abraham to sleep with the house servant. In her mind, this was a way to give her husband what he always wanted — a son. It’s weird how our insecurities create dysfunction in our families, right?
After Abraham slept with Hagar, she conceived. When Sarah heard the news, she became angry and began blaming Abraham! Sarah gave him permission and was angry at him for following through. Let this be a cautionary story to all the husbands out there!
Because Sarah is angry and blaming him, Abraham is in a scramble as any husband would be. He says to Sarah, “Your slave is in your hands. “Do with her whatever you think best.”
After Abraham punks out, the Bible says that Sarah began to mistreat Hagar. Honestly, you have to be pretty angry to start hitting a pregnant woman. Dysfunctional, right? The mistreatment became so bad that Hagar decided to run away.
The beautiful part of this story is that an Angel of the Lord finds Hagar in the desert. The angel began to question Hagar and asked her to go back to Abraham and Sarah and to submit to them! Go back to the dysfunctional relationship, God? You’re crazy!
But before God sends her back, He speaks to her and says that He is going to bless her and her descendants.
Hagar is so encouraged that she replied, “You are the God who sees me.” “I have now seen the One who sees me.” The only thing that changed in Hagar’s situation was that the Lord saw her and she saw Him. She still had to go back to this difficult situation but she was filled differently. She was confident that the Lord was on her side and that He was going to bless her.
It’s easy to run away from hard things. That seems to be the most logical answer. But it isn’t always the right answer.
I’m not encouraging women to go back to an abuser. I’m encouraging people to not run away from all dysfunctional situations. Running shouldn't be the first response. Allowing God to speak into you should.
When God speaks, it fills us in ways that nothing else in this world can. When He sees you and you see Him, you can face anything in this life. He is our champion.
I encourage you, today, to find God. He is the answer to your difficulty, not anything else. He knows the right steps to take. He is able to empower you to face things that are too big for you.
Allow the story of Hagar to bring life to you today. He is the God that sees you!