I was thinking again today about the sermon on Hannah that I posted earlier this week. On my mind was the part about how God loves to bring us to a point where we are helpless, at the end of what we can do, and maybe what we think we can handle.....and He works in that context to bring himself glory:
"....God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
1 Corinthians 1:27b-29
That made me think of the story of Hagar, how twice, in desperate circumstances, the Angel of the Lord came to her in the wilderness, heard her cries, saw her tears, and helped her. For those of you who don't remember the story, her first 'in the wilderness' was due to her running away from her mistress, difficult circumstances, relationships, etc. In that case the Lord sent her back to her duty. The second experience was when she and her son were sent away and found themselves in a truly desperate situation dying of thirst. Because I was thinking about it I went and reread Matthew Henry on those stories and wanted to share a few encouraging thoughts.
agar was not stopped till she was in the wilderness, and had set down, weary enough, and glad of clear water to refresh herself with. God brings us into a wilderness, and there meets us, (Hosea 2:14). She called the name of the Lord that spoke unto her, Thou God seest me: this should be, with her, his name for ever, and this his memorial, by which she will know him and remember him while she lives, Thou God seest me. "Thou seest my sorrow and affliction;" The God with whom we have to do is a seeing God, and all-seeing God. We ought to acknowledge this with application to ourselves. He that sees all sees me, as David says, O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
They were reduced to great distress there. Their provisions were spent, and Ishmael was sick. In this distress, God graciously appeared for their relief: he heard the voice of the lad..... and God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water....it was not the first time that she had met with God's comforts in a wilderness....she had thankfully acknowledged the former kind visit which God made his in such a case, and therefore God now visited her again with seasonable succours (for wherever we are, there is a way open heaven-ward)....He opened her eyes (which were swollen and almost blinded with weeping), and then she saw a well of water.
"You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then He is like a rose blooming in the midst of desolation....a rock rising above the storm."