After I posted The Run Away last week, Hagar called me. Well, not Hagar exactly. I got a call from a friend who asked if I wrote that post just for her. I didn’t, but I understood why she thought so.
(If you haven’t read The Run Away, it would be helpful to read that post first.)
My friend is a “ slave” to a commitment she made a long time ago. She is an honorable person and will be faithful to that commitment until she is released from it. Her situation is difficult. It is most undoubtedly temporary; nevertheless, she is not appreciated and is often treated unkindly.
In recent months, God has begun to give her a glimpse of her future. God is not finished with her yet, and when this current obligation ends, God has an exciting and personally fulfilling plan for her. She can hardly wait.
She recently had an encounter that further confirmed that plan, which made it even more difficult for her, as it was for Hagar, to return to her current situation. For this friend, the abuse continues while she remains faithful to her obligation. She is doing all she can to prepare for that future. She is anchored in place, even while her heart longs to soar where God is calling her next.
This verse is just one of many scriptures that hold her up.
Colossians 3: 23-24NIV
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Others may not appreciate her, but she has trained herself not to expect appreciation. She knows God alone sees her, like Hagar, and God has heard the cry of her heart.
We talked about Jeremiah 29:11. We all know this verse.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.NIV
Jeremiah gave that verse to the Israelites as they were about to go into bondage for 70 years. It was to remind them that when they were serving masters, they may not have respected or whom they even despised; they were to do all things as though they were serving God himself. They were to settle in, plant gardens, marry and have children, and wait for the appointed time when God would fulfill his promise to them.
The promise was not just about deliverance. It was a reminder that God would not forget them.
The angel asked Hagar where she had been and where she was going. She was fully aware of her status as a slave. Call it a bondservant if you like, but it means the same thing. She was legally bound to Sarai. She knew exactly where she had been.
She was able to return to Sarai because she knew God had something better for her in the future. He promised her that her son would also be the father of a nation, the same promise given to Abraham’s son Isaak.
God did not change Hagar’s circumstances, but God’s promise enabled her to endure what previously felt unendurable.
Hagar’s meeting with God at a well in the wilderness got me thinking about wells. Men may dig wells, but God supplies the water. Water, especially in such an arid climate, represented life. You can live many days without food but only three days without water. To own land with a well was prosperity. Today we would equate it to owning an oil well on your property!
Think how often women had significant life encounters at a well. When Moses fled from Pharaoh, he met his future wife, Zipporah, at a well. Abraham’s servant found Isaak’s future wife, Rebekah, at a well, and Jacob met Rachel at a well.
I think that wells and water must represent the refreshing God brings when we are living in an inhospitable place. Wells, of course, were the central part of any community. They needed water to survive. Water was life for their gardens, their livestock, and for themselves.
For the Samaritan woman, who met Jesus at the well, her reputation meant she lived in a socially inhospitable environment.
He told the Samaritan woman she would never thirst again once she tasted the water he would give her. The love and comfort God gives can never be taken from you. He places a price on you that is far above rubies. Satan will try to steal it from you with lies like, “You are not worthy.” But that never changes God’s mind about you. He never forgets you. Your name is written on the palm of his hand.
Hagar was not worthy, and neither was the Samaritan woman. But Jesus met them at the well and made a way for them. Perhaps you, too, must go alone to where He wishes to meet with you and provide you springs of living water, refreshing for your soul, and hope for your future.
I wonder how many of you can relate to either Hagar or the Samaritan woman. You may not feel trapped in a commitment, but have you ever been or felt ostracized as the Samaritan woman must have felt? Has Satan whispered in your ear that you are not worthy?
Go to the well. Go alone to a quiet place and let God be your refreshing, sustenance, and hope.
As I wrote that last sentence, I knew God was speaking to me too. Here is my well. It’s just a rough bench my grandson built and placed on the back of my property alongside the creek. It is where I like to go and sit and be still. I often come here to pray, think, weep, and mostly listen. The wind whispers in the trees, and the water in the creek dances to its own music, but I still find I can hear Him when he speaks to me here. I just went and laid my burdens down there. When the snow is too deep to make it here, my well is in my living room with a warm fire, an afghan on my lap, and my Bible at hand.
Where is your well? When you know, go there, as soon as you can. I am certain God is ready to meet you there.
Why Doesn’t God Just Heal Me
If you like what you’ve seen here, please consider picking up a copy of my book
Why Doesn’t God Just Heal Me – available on Amazon.com
ebook, paperback, and Audible
Having endured an undiagnosed illness for thirty years, the author prayed daily for healing and diligently searched the Bible to answer the questions we all ask when faith does not seem to be enough.
With a comprehensive and balanced application of scripture, the author addresses the topic of healing and answers the questions that test our faith.