Here we sit, in self-isolation. Saying that some people find this challenging is an understatement. Other folks, however, consider this a respite of sorts. I fall into that category. Into which category do you fall?
I’ve been thinking about a young Egyptian gal in the Bible who experienced a bout of isolation. Her name was Hagar, and she was Sarai’s servant. An abused servant, she was. Considered more a piece of property than a person of worth (Genesis 16).
Finally, the day came when Hagar decided she’d had enough and headed for home. Only a desperate woman would have attempted the journey alone through the sandy desert. At some point, exhausted, she plopped down beside a spring. There she sat—a solitary soul in the wilderness.
Hagar’s alone space became a place of discovery. Here are three lessons we can learn from her experience in that isolated classroom.
- Hagar may have felt like she was on her own, but God’s presence was with her (Genesis 16:7). The same is true for us. We might feel isolated, but doors and walls can’t limit God’s Spirit. He is with us. He’s with the seniors we love but can’t visit. He’s with our families and friends. We are not alone.
- Hagar engaged in conversation with the Lord (Genesis 16:7-12). How often does busyness hinder us from sitting still in His presence and hearing His voice? Too often, right? But we can do things differently during this season. Most of us have extra time now. Let’s cherish it. Let’s set aside a few minutes every day to sit in God’s presence and invite Him to speak to us, to ask the hard questions, and to show us where change is necessary in our lives.
- Hagar experienced God in a new way. In her isolation, she came to a fresh understanding of His character. She named Him “El-roi,” which means “the God who sees me.” That knowledge gave her the courage to return to Sarai. Knowing that God saw her there and was mindful of her circumstances gave her the courage to stay put until Sarah threw her out more than a decade later (Genesis 21:8-14).
This season of isolating ourselves in our homes needn’t be seen through a negative lens. Rather, let’s ask God to reveal Himself to us in new ways. Let’s seek His face, asking Him what He wants to teach us during these days that resemble nothing we’ve ever experienced. And let’s expect Him to answer.
#bgbg2 #Hagar #LessonsLearnedInSelfIsolation
Thank you for the insights, Grace. Hagar is the first recorded single parent in the Bible. Having been one myself, I have always appreciated the reminder that God sees them too, and cares for them.