Okay, bear with me. This is the most favorite of all the messages I have shared not only as a singles pastor, but as a woman and visionary. If you want to, check me out and read for yourself Genesis 21:14-21. Many already know the story. Sarah was barren, and even though God promised her she would give birth, it didn’t come about in the time Sarah thought it should (Hey, if I was between 80-90 years old and still not pregnant, I might begin to have my own doubts!). Well, she got this brilliant idea. She sent her husband, Abraham, in to her handmaiden, he slept with her, she conceived and gave birth to Ishmael. Now, a few years later, lo and behold, God’s promise comes to pass. Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah. Only thing is, Sarah got her bloomers twisted dealing with the fact now she was not the only mother to Abraham’s offspring. She insisted he send Hagar and Ishmael away.
Abraham was pretty torn about this, but after having a talk with God personally, he gave Hagar some food and water and sent her and the boy on their way. Here you have a mama wandering in the desert with her son and a very limited amount of sustenance. The food ran out. When the water was gone, she put Ishmael under a bush. Since he was probably a teenager at the time, we can conclude he must have already been in a very weakened condition. Hagar just could not bear to stick around and watch her boy die, so she “went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away…” She walked just far enough away she could not clearly see what was happening with her son. She sat and began to cry from the innermost depths of her gut, in a way only a mama could comprehend. Okay, well, perhaps any parent, but there’s that “mama thing” only we girls get.
Now, here’s the clincher. God heard the boy crying. Not Hagar, but the boy. You see, when Abraham had that “come-to-Jesus meeting” with God about banishing his son, God promised him that Ishmael would fulfill a promise, as well. So, Ishmael, even though he was not Isaac, and never would be able to fill those sandals, was still a son and part of the promise. So, God heard promise crying out.
What does the angel of God holler down to Hagar from Heaven?
“What’s the matter, Hagar?”
I mean, really, what’s the matter? But, the angel didn’t stop there. The next words were great. “Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Here comes the most amazing part of all: “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water…”
Think about this. The well had been there the whole time. It does not say God spoke the well into existence, it doesn’t say it just magically appeared out of thin air. Hagar had been so focused on her circumstances, her eyes were closed to the fact the solution, and answer, the source of her deliverance and her son’s future was right there, probably as close as we say here in the south, “spittin’ distance.”
How often do we get so focused on circumstances that we are blinded to the fact the answer, door of opportunity or possibility for liberation is right before our noses, with God tapping His foot on His footstool, wondering if we are ever going to look and see. Where’s your answer? Are you ready to give up? What if it’s right around the corner, or only 30 minutes away? Well . . .