And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
Sometimes the right thing to do is the hard thing to do. In a lot of ways, Hagar was in this situation through no fault of her own. It was really Sarai and Abram’s sin—their plan, their choice that left her pregnant and unwanted, and she didn’t really get a say. And when she flees the difficult aftermath of that plan gone awry, God tells her to go back and to serve her mistress. It was best for her and her baby to be born in Abram’s house.
Sometimes we can be in situations that have gone poorly for us through no fault of our own—perhaps other people’s sins, like in Hagar’s case, or maybe our own wrong decision. But sometimes God doesn’t want us to run from it, but to face it. He wants us to submit. He wants us to accept what is happening and trust Him in that situation and whatever comes out of it. Sometimes He’ll send us back to the last place we want to be, but would we be willing to go?
God knows where we are. He knows who we are. He knows what we should do. He knows all about our past and how we got to where we are right now. He knows the pain of those difficult moments we find ourselves in. He knows the confusion in our hearts and the uncertainty we face when trouble comes into our lives. But He also knows our future—where we will go and what will happen to us. And He wants to guide our next steps so we can have the best outcome from our current situation.
Hagar found herself in a place she didn’t want to be, a situation that was less than ideal, and she felt she had no choice but to run away. She was alone and hurting, but God wouldn’t let her stay there. Even though she may have felt like she didn’t really matter, God purposely sought her and wanted to help her. So when we find ourselves in hurtful situations, when we are facing an uncertain future, when it seems like we have nowhere to turn, let us remember that God sees us and knows where we are at any given moment. He knows every detail of our struggles. And He will helps us figure out what to do and where to go next.