“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar? 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.'”
– Genesis 21:17-18 NIV
Though Hagar did not experience a traditional separation and divorce from Abraham, as the mother of Abraham’s son Ishmael, Hagar’s life and trials as a parent transitioning through life’s troubles illustrates for us God’s faithfulness to care for those He is concerned about, including you and me., as we encounter the transitions of life. For the second time (see Genesis 16) Abraham’s household erupts into conflict between Sarah and Hagar. Again the resolution involves putting Hagar out and sending her into the wilderness with her child Ishmael. The first time this happened, Hagar encountered God and learned that God is a ‘God who sees.’ The same David who declared God as One who is mindful of man in Psalm 8, later inquires to God in Psalm 10:1, “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” The same David who declared that God is concerned about man later question whether God cares. My mother jokingly interjected as we read and reflected upon Psalm 10 recently during bible study that something must have happened to David for him to question God after declaring Him as One who cares.
The reality of the transitions that we face in life will cause us to respond as David did. Although we have encountered God as Hagar did and learn that God sees us and is concerned about us, our momentary troubles can sometimes challenge our faith and trust in God causing us to feel as David did when he expressed himself to God in psalm 10:1. It was God who told Moses to tell the Israelites in Exodus 3 that He has indeed seen the misery of His people, He has heard their cries, He is concerned about them and He will come to them and deliver them. The circumstances associated with our transition challenge our faith and seek to discourage us from trusting in God remaining faithful to Him to believe that He cares and He is concerned about us. The elapse of time and the increased intensity of our circumstances will cause us to inquire, ‘God, are you there? Do you see what’s happening to me? Are you going to respond to me prayers and help me in my circumstances?’ This is what David inquires of God in Psalm 10:1.
Despite how he feels and the reality of what’s happening around him, by the conclusion of Psalm 10 David looks beyond how he feels and answers his own inquiry. “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” – Psalm 10:14 NIV Hagar learned that the same God who sees also hears in her circumstances. In fact, the bible said that God heard the cries of the child. The reality of her transition caused Hagar to be overcome with grief and doubt that anything good would come out of her current circumstances. Distraught, she distances herself from her child, but God intervenes and responds with compassion to Hagar. You may not have what you need for the child Hagar, but you can take hold of the child and lift them up. In essence, what we may lack in material means for our children due to the transition, by God’s grace we are sufficient to provide love and encouragement. Then God opened Hagar’s eyes and provided a well for Hagar to provide the means she could not on her own. Despite the reality of our transition, God sees us and hears us and He cares and is concerned and He will respond to us as He responded to Hagar. Like David, despite how we may feel in the transition, continue to talk to God, as David did, and remind yourself of God’s faithfulness to care for those He loves.
May God bless you and help you to continue to come to Him and talk with Him and give to your family the love, encouragement and support God provides by His grace as you transition towards resiliency.