The stories of Genesis never fail to remind me of the complexities and fragility of life—then and now. In chapter 16, we read about Abraham and Sarah giving up on the promise that they will have a son and taking matters into their own hands. The result of their lack of trust is a human life—Ishmael—who now complicates the story. There is animosity between Sarah and Hagar. Sarah makes life so miserable for Hagar that Hagar runs away from Sarah and goes into the wilderness.
God doesn’t leave Hagar alone in the wilderness but sends a messenger to tell her that she needs to go back to Sarah. That seems cruel except in this case, the alternative is cruel, too; she would die in the wilderness and her child with her.
Hagar encounters God’s presence in the wilderness and calls God “the living God who sees me.” Hagar trusts that God sees her situation even though she’s between a rock (Sarah) and a hard place (the unforgiving wilderness).
Hagar names the well where God’s sees and meets her the “Well of the Living One who Sees Me.” There she finds replenishing of body, spirit and soul.
Throughout this Lenten season, I encourage you to go to the “Well of the Living God who Sees You.” Drink deeply from the reading of scripture. Join a Bible study or Lenten study even if you have “Bible study anxiety” or “fear of Bible study boredom.” Take time for prayer and reflection. Be silent long enough each day to be replenished. Pray, study and be with others in your church or circle of friends or by yourself.
Go to the “Well of the Living One who Sees You” and find renewed trust to live between your rock and a hard place.
~Bishop Sally Dyck