Everything Is Impossible Until God Shows Up (Fearless Living #2)
Genesis 21:17-18, NIV
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Imagine being in a family with food to eat, water to drink, a roof over your head, and something to do, and then all of a sudden being kicked out to make it on your own. Imagine attempting a long trek through a desert land with very little supplies and wondering if you and your child will make it to a destination of which you are unsure. Imagine the fear and frustration of not being able to call on any human being for help when you need it most.
All of these things happened to Hagar and her son, Ishmael. When Isaac, the son God had promised to Abraham and Sarah, was born, Sarah thought it necessary to protect her son’s inheritance from the older son, Ishmael, who was born of her servant, Hagar. Ishmael’s birth was all arranged by Sarah herself to begin with, and we can sympathize with Hagar’s feelings in this regard. Nonetheless, Sarah convinced Abraham to get rid of Hagar and her son, and he complied with her request.
Hagar and her son were now forced to travel through the scorching desert and make it on their own. On a difficult journey, with inadequate provisions, Hagar’s son faints from the heat. Famished and thirsty, Hagar does everything but bury the boy. She then sits a little ways off from him and cries. Imagine her feelings of hopelessness, fear, anger, frustration, and nothing or nobody to turn to in the process. It seems impossible that any good could come from this situation or that they could even get out of such a situation alive.
But we should note two things from this passage: The first is that God sees everything at all times and in all places. The second is that every situation is impossible until God shows up and works a miracle. The presence of God and a miracle are the two things that Hagar and Ishmael need at this very moment. And when we go through difficult times and experience impossible situations, we will find that we need God and a miracle too.
God oftentimes has to bring us to the end of our rope, the end of our relying on our strength, in order for Him to show Himself mighty. Sometimes, we have to get to a place where we are sitting under a tree, hopeless, fearful, and crying. When we get to a point in our lives where all we have is God, we will discover that God is all we really need.
The angel of God told Hagar, “Do not be afraid.” Why should she not be afraid? Because of the next two sentences in this passage, “God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” God already saw the end from the beginning. He knew Hagar and Ishmael would come to this point in their lives, and He had ready both a plan and a promise.
God sees the end of our lives from the beginning as well. Nothing gets past God — not a tear, not a heartbreak, not a loss, not a pain — nothing at all goes on in your life or mine without God’s knowledge. For this reason, we do not have to be afraid. God hears us wherever we are in the world and His promises to us are: “I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope” and “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When you’re at the end of your rope and your patience is about to run out, and you feel like giving up, that’s actually a good place to be. At that moment, you are ready for God to show up and work a miracle for you. We can live a fearless life by trusting God, following His plan, and resting in His everlasting promises.
Lord, thank You that we don’t have to be afraid, that no matter what we face in life, we can trust in You and in Your promises and plans for us. Deliver us from fearing situations and people and from relying on our strength. Help us instead to cry out to you when we are faced with impossible situations and to know that You not only will hear us, but You will answer us and deliver us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.