The other day I came across a random bible trivia question that concerned Sarah and Abraham and the birth of their son Isaac. It was a week or so ago, but the question made me think and I just haven't been able to get the idea of Hagar out of my mind.
Hagar, there was nothing wrong with Hagar. She just did everything she was suppose to do. She didn't cause problems for the world by birthing Ishmael. She just did what she was supposed to do. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with Hagar.
The problems came, however, when God promised Abraham something wonderful and after so many years, Abraham and Sarah decided to help out God by using Hagar to find that great destiny.
To say it didn't work out, is like saying Hitler was unkind. A gross understatement.
Prior to seeing that question, I'd never really applied the Hagar/Sarah story to myself. It's about a woman sending her husband to sleep with her servant so he'd have a baby. I never, never once, applied any part of that to ME.
But suddenly I saw what the story was really about. It's about not being able to wait for what God has promised you. It's about trying to help Him out by finding our own ways to make things happen. I suppose I knew that before, but I still never found a way to apply it.
I've accepted some Hagar jobs, looking for the job God would have me have.
I've spent time building Hagar friendships, looking for the friends God would have me have.
I've shopped around Hagar churches looking for a Church God could have me be a part of.
I've tried some Hagar plans, just looking for Gods plans for my life.
I've tried some Hagar solutions to find Gods healing for my life.
You name it, I've grown impatient waiting for God to act and I've found a Hagar, willing and able and I've tried to achieve Gods purpose through her.
But Hagar never fulfilled what God's promise. It added more stress, more problems, more difficulties for Abraham to deal with, but Gods promise still sat there unfulfilled until such time as He deemed to be the right time.
There's nothing wrong with Hagar. Hagar was a necessary part of the household at that time. She was there to serve. The problem came only when they used her to accomplish something that God intended someone else to accomplish.
The special thing to this story is, Abraham didn't need a maidservant. He apparently started worrying that after all these years of not receiving what God had promised him, that he must need something more than he had in order to accomplish Gods promise.
When Gods tools were already in his life. Everything he needed to see Gods promise fulfilled was right in front of him. He just had to wait for Gods timing.
God can use my job, to get me into the perfect job for me.
God can use my friends, to help me meet the perfect friend for me.
God can use my church, to help me find the perfect church for me.
God can use the direction my life is already taking to help me get to the plan God ultimately has for me.
Too much time is spent looking for different things, different ways, to accomplish what God has said He was going to do. When we simply have to be patient and wait for God to accomplish what He promised - in His time frame.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that Hagar is just there.
And the Sarah in our lives that doesn't seem able to accomplish Gods promise?
Well, she's the only one who can.