This post is part of my book launch, Meeting God at Wits’ End: Hope for the Weary …
Open My Eyes
Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.
The difficulties and afflictions in life have a tendency to make us spiritually blind, causing us to doubt God and drift from Him. “If God loves me, why is this happening to me”? Since God’s ways are inscrutable, we mostly don’t understand what’s happening.
For example, Jacob once exclaimed: “All this has come against me” (Gen. 42:36). Yet, he didn’t realize that God was working out His saving purposes for him and his family, even amidst his despondency. Many times, the same is true for us. Nothing aimless happens to God’s children.
As part of God’s will, Abraham had sent Hagar and Ishmael away. It wasn’t the first time that Hagar had wandered in the wilderness. The previous time, God had given her a promise regarding her soon-to-be-born son: “. . . and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen” (Gen. 16:12). Would she hold on to that promise when a great trial entered her life and everything seemed lost?
This second time, it was a permanent departure from Abraham: “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” (Gen. 21:14). Would she walk by faith or cave in to fear?
Not long thereafter, the provisions depleted and death seemed inevitable: “Then she went and sat down opposite him [Ishmael] a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept” (Gen. 21:16). She didn’t believe God’s earlier promise and hopelessness set in.
What was God’s response to such unbelief? He told her not to fear, repeated His promise, and opened her eyes so that she saw a well of water. The well of water had been there the whole time; yet, her despair had kept her from seeing it. The same is true spiritually.
When we’re overwhelmed by the difficulties and afflictions in life, we don’t always clearly see the great gospel realities, including God’s promises. That doesn’t mean they’re not real. God has to then open our spiritual eyes, so that we see His steadfast love and be refreshed.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to clearly see Jesus’ all-sufficiency and be refreshed.
The Devotional Writer
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