He came completely out of nowhere.
There were no prior thoughts or stories of Him from a memory long ago. Not a single memory verse to cling to. There was no turning to Him in times of trouble. No songs of worship or praising His name. Never a bible to read from.
But suddenly He was there.
What the hell for?
was all I could think.
He struck me with the force of hurricane winds as if He had been running after me for sometime and finally caught up but couldn’t slow down. Initially, I didn’t like it.
What was happening to me? Suddenly my lifestyle seemed wrong and out-of-place for my character. What character was this? Where were these thoughts coming from? Christian people started coming into my life suddenly doing things for me that no one had ever done before. Their kindness…overwhelming.
The pressure on my heart and on my mind was at times too much to bear. So I did what I was best at doing and I pushed Him away. When you’re not wanted, you are pushed away. It is as simple as that.
Where most would gladly flee, He would not.
Still stubborn and unwilling to give it all to Him but willing to move slowly, step by step, closer to Him…taking His hand.
My desire for a bible was strange but I bought the first one I could find. Full of a strange hope, I began to read.
Where does one begin to read if they have never opened a bible before? At the beginning, of course! And so I did. I read and did not understand but strangely enough I landed on Genesis 16:1-16. I read it over and over again. The bible has a story about an unwed mother? Seriously? And it’s in the very first book of the bible?
Isn’t God clever?
Genesis 16 tells us the story of Hagar and Sarai.
Hagar did not have a beautiful life. She was a slave to Abram’s wife, Sarai. Even though this was the norm for this period of time, it can not wash away the feelings that I’m certain consumed Hagar. She was the property of Sarai and if Sarai told her to allow Abram to sleep with her, then she must comply. Can you even imagine? Sarai was unable to have children of her own and in her desperate need to be a mother, she chose her slave to provide those children for her. Yet she began to despise Hagar once she knew she was pregnant with her husband’s child.
Verse 6 tells us that Sarai “mistreated Hagar.” So much so that Hagar decided to risk it all and run away from this life.
Verse 7 says “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert.” What stood out to me was that the angel of the Lord sought out and found Hagar. Proving God’s love for us all, regardless of our situation and current place in life. And it provided the explanation I needed as to how God suddenly found me…He has been seeking me out all along.
Even though the angel encourages her to go back to Sarai, it was out of concern for Hagar’s well-being. Pregnant and alone in the desert was not going to provide a positive outcome for Hagar. God knew she would be ok by returning and thus provided her the encouragement to go back.
It gets even better in verse 8. “And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”
I felt as though God was asking me…”you have focused too long on where you came from. Now where are you planning to go?”
Those questions really struck a chord with me. God wasn’t looking for answers from me that day. He already knew the answer. Same thing with Hagar. He was asking the question to make me stop and think about my life.
It was then that I knew the only logical answer to “where are you planning to go” was…
I’m going to follow You.