Surrendering The Secret

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading


One Woman’s Journey Backwards

Let’s look at a story in the Bible about a woman, not so different than us, to see how true healing can come.

The Bible overflows with stories of women—their losses, challenges, good and bad choices, failures, and victories. The common themes and promises of God’s Word are rescue, healing, redemption, and hope. Through these stories God promises never to ignore us, forsake us, or give up on us. Hagar is a woman in the Bible whose dream for family and motherhood didn’t go the way she planned—the way she’d dreamed about since girlhood.

Abram and Sarai’s issues became Hagar’s. Genesis 16:4 and 6 read, “And [Abram] went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when [Hagar] saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. But Abram said to Sarai, ‘Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.’ Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.”

How do you feel about what happened to Hagar in this story?

Surely Hagar’s decision to run away from her home and life was one of panic (verse 6). How must Hagar have felt about her circumstances, herself, and those she should have been able to trust? What kind of life could she expect with the problems she had and the choices she’d made?

Hagar and her unborn son were going to die in the wilderness, but Hagar turned to God in her time of crisis. 

In Genesis 16:9, we find God’s first instruction to Hagar through the angel. “The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress and submit to her.’”

Then, in Genesis 16:11, we read, “And the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction.’”

It was common in biblical times for people to give God a new name when they discovered another exciting characteristic about Him. Given the way Hagar named God and the place where He met her, what fresh, life-sustaining truths do you think Hagar learned about God and the way He related to her personally?