Genesis 21:15-19 (NIV): When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 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.
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. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
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.
When God came to Hagar in the desert, He came unbidden. She wasn’t even thinking about Him. All she could see was that her water skin was empty, and that both she and Ishmael were very thirsty. But, because God had promised to make Ishmael into a great nation (Genesis 17:20), He was watching over them from the time that they left Abraham’s camp, guiding and directing their steps, even though Hagar was unaware of it. At that time she was so lost in her grief and despair, so “under the circumstances,” that she totally forgot the previous conversation that she had had with God, a conversation that had happened several years before, but not far away from that very spot (cf. Genesis 16:7-14). She had forgotten the name that she had given to God at that time: “The God who sees me.”
So God came to her, not because of her prayers, but because of His promise. He came to her, and spoke peace to her heart. He renewed to her the promise He had made about her son and his future. And then he opened her eyes, turning them away from her problems toward the solution that had been there the whole time: a well full of cool water.
When any of God’s people begin to panic in the face circumstances that we feel we have no control over, God can still do the same thing today, if we will allow Him to. He will speak peace to our troubled hearts. He will remind us of His love for us, and of all of the promises that He has made to us. And then He will open our eyes so that we can see solutions that are almost always close at hand. The important thing is that we be willing to listen to Him, and that we be willing to look where He points us!
Father, You are so right! Often we get so focused on the problem that we don’t see the solutions that You have already led us to; solutions that are right in front of our eyes. Lord, what problems am I facing right now for which I am overlooking Your obvious solution? Calm my heart, remind me of Your loving promises, and open my eyes so that I can really see. Amen.