once upon a time, on the other side of the globe, lived a servant girl who had been mistreated. her mistress had used her for a favor and now despised her. for you see, the mistress was not able to conceive a child and wanted a child desperately. growing impatient and certainly frustrated, she asked her husband if she could send in her maidservant to conceive a child for them. this practice was more common in this ‘once upon a time’ period.
so the maidservant conceived and the mistress hated her for it. yes, this is what the mistress wanted, but her heart was filled with jealousy towards the one that could provide in an area where she was barren. her emotions stirred rampantly as she watched her maidservant grow big as she carried her child within her womb. the servant carried a child inside, but probably also carried pride and arrogance as well, as she mingled and talked with the other servants. day in and day out, the mistress spoke harshly to her servant. being a servant, the mistress could have hardened her workload. this servant girl could take it no longer and ran away. she ran back towards the land where she was from.
on her way, she stopped by a stream in the dessert. an angel found her there. the angel called her by her title, a servant. she wasn’t referred to as a new mother or a woman, but as servant. and whom did she serve? she served the mistress. now remember, the servant girl is running from the mistress. it seemed that even the angel would not let her escape the troubles she had with her earthly relationship with the mistress.
the angel then asked the servant girl, “where have you come from and where are you going?”
the servant was honest before the angel. wouldn’t you if an angel started asking you questions?
the servant said she was running from her mistress and was headed home. the angel was gentle in telling the servant to return to her job, to return to her mistress, to return to her earthly relationship.
go back to your earthly relationship. make things right. i will bless you for it.then there’s more.
that’s the practical way the angel said it!
this story that took place ‘once upon a time, on the other side of the globe’ can be found in the Bible, in the book of Genesis 16. it’s the true story of Sarai, Abraham, and Hagar.
BUT the best part of the story is the ending, right?
well, the servant leaves the spring of water in the dessert and heads back to her mistress. but as she does, she says these words, “So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
the servant made that spot in the dessert a place of praise as she realized that the angel was from the Lord and that He had seen everything!
what earthly relationship do you have with someone that is hard, tiring, draining, or negative?
are you running away from it?
have your run away?
where have you come from?
where are you going?
for me, i find myself in the dessert often. you know that feeling when you’re blah or apathetic? sometimes I really wonder how i ended up in such a dry place. it’s when i am tired, worn out. it’s when i get caught up in my identity as a mom or a wife. when i forget that i belong to the King of kings - the God Who sees me. it’s then that i am faced with my past/present and my future.
i look this way and see....
everything revolving around me.
my way of controlling the issue.
people who have hurt me or are out to get me.
a world spinning out of control.
too much going on.
then i look that way and see...
a moment to relax and be still.
a refocusing of my eyes and mind to what really matters.
a desire to mend relationships whether it was my fault or not.
others before me, rather than myself before others.
arms outstretched, giving my days, my lists, my family to the One who has the whole world in His hands and wants to hold me in the palm of His hand.
i hope you have seen yourself in the story. now, let’s do our part:
write a letter.
create some balance.
seek godly counsel.
and when we find ourselves in the desert, rejoice!
be thankful that we have a moment to stop and look back and then look forward.
and remember, God is a God who sees you every moment of the day and loves you.