|Photo from Microsoft Word Clip Art on-line|
I've mentioned recently how I've been feeling dry spiritually. One night I was so concerned about this that I even typed in online: feeling dry spiritually. I've tried all the usual things and nothing is clicking this time around - definitely a struggle.
However, something I landed on that night was such an encouragement to me and has proven to meet me right where I'm at. Note: I cannot vouch for this site or anything about it other than that God used something there to bless me.
This - the idea of a comparison to a desert and how often God brought His people into the desert either physically or spiritually (or both) as a time of preparation to use them in a mighty way. So, I thought it would be great to look at people in the Bible who were in the desert and to see what came of their time there.
The first person I came across was Hagar. See Genesis 16 for the beginning of her story which is all I'm going to try and process today.
Quick recap: Hagar fled to the desert after being mistreated by Sarai, so she was looking to get out of harm's way and away from her messy life.
I would want to go somewhere peaceful and inviting and certainly don't consider the desert to be that, but it strikes me that she had limited resources - she was a servant and this was what was available to her: desert. It also comes to mind that she is Egyptian (see Gen. 16: 1) and desert was likely exactly what she'd known all her life so perhaps there was a sort of comfort in fleeing into the desert the way she did.
The next thing I noticed was that God met her there. (Gen. 16:7) And, in a very real and personal way. She was addressed by name and her honesty was required as she was asked where she was from and where she was going.
In the desert, there was direction for Hagar. (Gen. 16: 9-12) And, she listened - oh, the lessons in these thoughts alone.
And, this was the encouragement I needed for that time. Since then, I really needed to have confirmation from the Lord on something and read this same passage and it meant something very different but just as meaningful to me. Part two may or may not be something I ever share here - but it is amazing to me (always!) how we can read the same thing two times and have it mean different things to us each time.