How would you feel if you had a son who you knew would be wild and hated by everyone in his family? We have to remember that not only are we talking about Abram’s family but Hagar’s as well. Hagar’s story is a hard one for me to comprehend. Ishmael’s birth divided Abram’s family, and it also divided the family of God. Still, while we know Ishmael will stir up some conflict later, Hagar remained a servant and submitted to God. She went back to Abram and Sarai to endure a life of humility for the sake of her son. Hagar received a blessing of both knowing the cost of her sacrifice and the price her son would pay as well.
We often make decisions but fail to realize our kids are humans, too, and that they will grow to be thinking, feeling, adult humans – with lots of opinions and loud voices! I moved my kids around a lot for the sake of better jobs and in hopes of improving our lives. I see now how deeply that affected each of their lives – in both good ways and bad. I think my kids would tell you mostly bad! I can look back now, and even though I still see and feel the really bad times, I also see and feel God right there with us, leading us to the people we are now. I have some awesome kids, and I only have God to thank for molding and shaping them that way.
Hagar had a huge decision to make. She was young. A new mommy-to-be. She was on the cusp of her historical journey, and she didn’t even know we’d be talking about it 2,000 years later! This is one of those times she could have asked herself, “Will this affect me in five years?” YES, girl, YES!!!! Hagar stuck with God, endured the humility and went home. Imagine if she had not, though? The road would have been harder probably, but I bet God would have been right beside her the whole way. That’s kind of how I look at our lives. Yes, I, I took the road less traveled by, but because God was with us, that has made all the difference.
Knowing God is with us whichever direction we go doesn’t give us the right to make dumb decisions and expect God to bail us out. In hindsight of some of my dumbest, most impulsive, irresponsible decisions, though, I can now see God was right there, steering me back toward His lighthouse. Likewise, in some moments where I made hard decisions, fully confident they were prompted by the Holy Spirit, I know God was right beside me (and often carrying me!) then, too.
Writing prompt: the greater good
Have you ever had to make a sacrifice or a tough decision that you knew would have a dire consequence for someone involved? Write about the debacle and how you determined the greater good.