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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Entrusting Yourself to Your God

I could probably write a book on the 101 ways to react in the flesh and I would have some real material and skill because I have done it a million times. It is so hard especially when you feel like you are wronged to do the power thing and entrust yourself to the one who is Faithful.

Anyway, I have a personal issue that I am not going to share in blogland...but one where I feel like I have been mistreated time and time again. I am reminded of Hagar once again. Most of you are familiar with the story (If you aren't you can read it here). Abe and Sarai can't get pregnant which of course is a disgrace to them since they had received a promise for offspring and that there was the command to be fruitful and multiply...and even the meaning of Abes name which in Hebrew meant "Exalted father" yet he had zero kids. It was custom for the concubines or maidservants to try to be a surrogate mother so to speak. Well, as it goes Hagar the Egyptian maidservant gets pregnant and then she begins to despise Sarai. First off, I would not be telling my man to go sleep with anyone else for us to have a child...but that is me. It makes me think (even though it was custom) of the desperate decisions that we can make when we idolize something that we think we MUST have to live. Attempting to help God out always breeds some sort of destruction (just look at the whole conflict in the middle east if you want to see the fruit of their attempt to help God out on the promise He gave for descendants). Anyway, here is the part I wanted to get to out of verse 6 of Genesis 16:
"Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her." When I looked up the Hebrew word for harsh or harshly it means what you think she delt with her harshly but in that word is also the word for abuse. I am speculating but maybe Sarai oppressed Hagar by her treatment of her or maybe there was some sort of abuse involved. Sometimes abuse can be verbal, or mental, sometimes it can be making someones life plain miserable.
So, Hagar flees from Sarai. Can you blame her? Then an angel of the Lord finds her by a spring of water and asks her where she is going and also tells her to return and submit to Sarai. And a very well known verse arises out of this:
13So 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."
God cared about Hagar. He cared that she was mistreated. Just because something is stated in the word of God like the fact that she was mistreated does not mean God approves of the behaviour. Just like his intentions for man to have only one wife...even though people multiplied wives did not mean God approved.
God saw her and He came to her need as she was fleeing from her circumstances. I am not telling anyone here to stay in an abusive relationship but I am trying to give you the message that God has spoken to me...that even when people deal harshly with me or I am mistreated God takes note. We are the apple of His eye and He sees you and He sees me when we are afflicted.
Zechariah 2:8
8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-

I love the meaning of the apple of His eye in Hebrew it is
!Avyai 'iyshown {ee-shone'} Meaning: 1) pupil of the eye. It is one of the most important parts of they eye. His children are the apple of His eye. His is omnipresent and sovereign over all and nothing gets past Him. Even if you feel like He is not coming through if anyone mistreats you or oppresses you...He takes note. You are so important to your God.
The part that is going to take some prayer, submission, and entrusting ourselves to the Lord is when we are mistreated and we react in the flesh. We are going to be insulted and mistreated here but we can entrust ourselves to the One who is all knowing and all powerful. That is a challenge for me...not to lash out in my own skin.

Then, we head back over to Genesis 21. For lack of time you can read it for yourself but Hagar and Ishmael are sent away after the weaning party for Isaac when Sarah notices him mocking. This distresses Abe because you have to remember that it is his son to. So they are sent off once again and please remember how dangerous it was to travel back then...especially for a woman. I don't want to get side tracked because we could talk about this for a few days but please go with me and read these verses regarding their trip in the wilderness:
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

They not only had physical needs because they were about to die for lack of water...but I believe Hagar had a greater need as well. She needed her eyes to be opened to the living water. She already named Him back in Genesis 16 El Roi. But don't you know this woman felt so alone...so rejected...and then feared the worst of losing her son, a son so precious to her. Don't try to stuff your pain and act like that because you are a Christian you shouldn't feel. God heard their sobs in the desert. He heard the boy crying. Even when you feel so unnoticed, listen to me, YOUR GOD NOTICES...YOUR GOD HEARS.

I sat in my bed yesterday morning so frustrated and with tears I remembered this passage and that God hears me. God stores my tears in a bottle. Then I began to pray: God please open my eyes to the well of refreshment even in my own dry desert. The desert where things look bleak and hopeless at times. Please open my eyes to the fountain of Living Water standing in the midst of it all and let me come and drink deep.

15 comments:

Charity said...

First off, let me say, you REALLY SHOULD write a book, on any topic! It would bless millions!!

I can relate to your feelings. Great post!

Leigh said...

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out You hand against the wrath of my enemies and Your right hand will save me.
Psalm 138:7

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you;He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Wait on the Lord
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the Lord!
Psalm 27:14


Jenny Hope-My prayers are lifted up in hopes that you will be peaceful and your burdens lifted. This is my prayer.
I was in JJill today and had you on my mind. Be well, my friend.

BethAnne said...

That is a good word, sister! I fyou do write that book, let me know and I can help you change the title to 1001 ways to react in the flesh - I have a pHd in reacting in the flesh. Feel free to use me as a reference! ;-)

NYC said...

Hi Jenny,

Thank you for this post; it is a great reminder of how, no matter how tough it gets, to keep our focus on the Lord. I know that I continually want to "help" God out because I think that nothing is happening. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that God knows all about my woes, but He does.

I will pray for you.

Jessica said...

Jenny! This was so good! I will never hear "Apple of my Eye" again without thinking that the pupil is the most sacred part, and that is how God views His children! Thank you!

Tam said...

Of all things His hands created WE are His prized possessions. I think if we really pondered that it would be quite transforming.

Charity, I've told Jenny that same thing tons of times. She's like the Beth Moore of the Blogs!

Jenny, you are a gifted writer!

jennyhope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Awesome word God gave me through your fingertips sweet one!!

Praying for you,
steph.

Profbaugh said...

You've blessed me today Ms. Jennyhope!! Thanks for the good WORD.

Love ya,
~Cheryl

twinkle said...

I was just reading about Hagar and God speaking to her this week. Is it ok to be ashamed of Sarai's meanness?
It speaks to me that in this story God is revealed as "The God Who Sees."
It has blessed me so many times to remember He see me and everything I go through. It makes me more quick to react in a way that pleases Him even when my flesh wants to lash out.

God sees.

Everything. Even the heart.

Jenny, I'm sorry you are feeling so frustrated. What in the world do you think God is teaching you through this? I've found that it's not about them it's about me. I pray you learn superfast!!

Faith @ The Great Adventure said...

I agree that you should write a book! And I LOVE God's tenderness toward us, amen?

Heather said...

Left something for you on my blog ...

Ivy Vega from www.ivysmind.com said...

Through tears, GOD is with you. There is nothing that He can not accomplish. Whatever your frustration might be or hurt for that matter, give it to HIM. He is perfect and faithful. Just waiting to hear from you to call upon HIS name.

I enjoyed this post.

He Knows My Name said...

jenny,

remember paul saying what i want to do i dont' and what i don't want to do i do. we get so frustrated in this earthly skin don't we. there isn't a day that goes by that i would love a dozen do-overs.m

my God knows my pain, He is keeping track of wrongs for me, He hears my prayers and He cares about me.

great post from your heart i am blessed.

~janel

Bev Brandon said...

Jennnnnnnyyyyyyy!
OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!
I am so sorry that you have been treated with undeserved junk. Not right. One day He will right all wrongs. But that's not what we live for you. You live for this moment to love Him and learn better to heap love on those who continually return insults, you know the verse. I keep thinking about C.S. Lewis - "no man know how bad he is until he tries very hard to be good." Just LOVE the way you look at the fray of your own heart. The ball is always in our court. Even if you are only 2% wrong, you are still looking to HIM in your relationships and living open handed. This post blessed me to hear you speak truth the way you did.

PS - We are still laughing about "the baby in the Blanket" story. My husband is so funny and he made a huge deal out of it and I was ROTFL cause Morgan kept deleting every e-mail he sent. Oh those two year olds...she's active even on the computer! Love you this Saturday morning, thinking of you, praying for you!