But when Tona Ottinger stepped up to the podium, I had no idea how wide she would open my eyes. She spoke from the story of Hagar and Ishmael. Abram and Sarai were a beautiful couple who had it all together, yet they longed and prayed for a baby. When said baby didn’t show up on their doorstep, Sarai took matters into her own hands and offered her Egyptian slave, Hagar, to be a surrogate with Abram. However, when Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s (and consequently Sarai’s) son, she became-surprise surprise-extremely jealous. And frankly, Hagar was ticked.
So- a cat fight so-to-speak ensued and Hagar fled. And for the very first time in the Bible, God spoke to Hagar as an angel of the Lord and called her by name. Big stuff. He knows our name.
God smoothes things over with Hagar, and she returns to her master. Hagar births Ishmael and one hopes all is happy once again. However, Hagar and Sarai still have beef. God later actually fulfills his original promise to (now I believe) Sarah and Abraham, making them the parents of nations, and blessing them with a biological child, Isaac. Ishmael, for whatever reason makes fun of Isaac at his weaning party and Sarah has taken all she could take and kicks them out of the house.
Alone. In the woods. With no possessions. Nothing to feed her child. And nothing to give him to drink. She was hopeless. So, she sat away from her child and turned her head because she couldn’t bear to watch him die. And the boy cried.
And God heard him. Not only did He hear Hagar, but He heard her child, Ishmael. And upon that hearing, He opened her eyes to see a well of water that had been there all along.
Now, of course, this is not the NIV version or probably even worthy of Cliff’s Notes Quality of the story, but I felt you needed to hear what I was taught.
I often cry out to God that not only He be with us through this wait and to guide the birth family and to give them peace and comfort in Him, but I also beg him to be with my sweet Ruby Grace. Taking care of her, making sure she is safe, squeezing her with His love and tenderness until I can physically get to her. And you know what? Not only does he hear my prayers as her Mommy, but he hears her. As my child. And not only does He hear her, but He is with her.
And to realize this was so heartwarming to me. It doesn’t make this process easier, but I can trust in knowing that He loves my Ruby Grace and He is with her through everyday that she is here on Earth.
So thankful for a mighty God who loves us BIG and equips us to do the same.