Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 16, 2018

When Return Is the Answer

“So she (Hagar) called the LORD who spoke to her: The God Who Sees, for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the One who sees me? Genesis 16:13 (NIV)

When God’s promises and our timing seem off it is so easy to seize control. After all God did create us to be helpers and perhaps He just needs us to push things along. Those were thoughts that may have lingered in Sarai’s mind. God’s promise of a son seemed impossible so Sarai gave Hagar (her slave) to Abram as a surrogate wife.

I’m sure you remember the story – Hagar gets pregnant something Sarai couldn’t’ accomplish and then Hagar gets a little arrogance in her step. Sarai blames Abram, and he tells Sarai do whatever you like with Hagar. Sarai asserts her authority and treats Hagar badly – Hagar flees into the wilderness. God hears Hagar’s cries and tells her to go back to Sarai. Sounds like a reality tv show.

We all know what drama women can cultivate, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Hagar to return to the one who mistreated her. While God definitely doesn’t want us to live in abusive situations, this was His will for Hagar to swallow her pride and return. We don’t hear any mention in scripture of what happened when Hagar showed back up, but I would guess that Hagar didn’t allow her pride to rise back up to the surface.

Return is rarely our go to response when conflict arises. Like Hagar, we simply want relief. We don’t want to face the drama escalating out of control. So what’s a girl to do when conflict shows up and she is getting the short end of the stick? Hagar’s run into the desert probably gave her some “me” time. A chance to evaluate her role and how she offended the one she had faithfully served for many years. Her response to the angel of the Lord was one of running away not a re-telling of her sob story.

Wonder what would happen if we pulled ourselves away and honestly evaluated the drama encircling us? Rather than point the finger, we would look deep inside to see how we have contributed to the issue. Instead of replaying the events over and over, we would listen for God’s voice and obey even if it means going back to what seems hopeless.

Everything that touches our lives – other’s actions and our reactions – are fully visible before the eyes of God. He knows the potential for growth found in working through conflict and is fully aware that it isn’t all about “us” but the whole picture is at stake. And in those moments when we feel invisible, God is right there beside us – the One who truly sees it all desiring reconciliation.

“Father channel us away from pride and help us to see clearly the role we have played when conflict arises. Help us to hear and obey Your voice as we pursue unity with others.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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