Monday, September 27, 2021

A Pathway in the Wilderness

By: Joanne Viola

Many stories in the Bible are told often and become familiar to us. The story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is one such story, well known to many of us.

Abraham and Sarah were unable to have children and were getting along in age. God made a promise to them – they will become parents. But as time continued to pass, Sarah came up with a creative plan to “help” God along in this seemingly impossible promise.

Sarah suggested to Abraham to sleep with her maid, Hagar, for surely she will bear them a child. The scheme leaves us questioning how any of them could think this was a good plan, but Abraham cooperates and Hagar gets pregnant.

This is when the problem arises between the two women, for Sarah begins to treat Hagar harshly, and Hagar flees.

You can read the full account in Genesis 16. A recent reading of the incidents brought three points to mind:

  1. God will always find us in our wilderness. We may think we have successfully run from our problem and found a place to be alone. God will find us even there – in our isolation, in our quandary, and uncertainty of how to proceed. Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.” (Genesis 16:7, NASB)
  2. There is blessing in returning and submission. The angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return and submit to the authority of her mistress, Sarah (verse 8). But he also speaks to her of future blessing. I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”  (Verse 9, NASB)
  3. God gives each of us His undivided attention. The angel gives her further instruction regarding the arrival of the baby she is carrying. He tells her it is Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction” (verse 11, NASB)). In the Hebrew, “has given heed” means He had given Hagar His undivided attention in hearing her cries. He still hears the cries and prayers of His people today.

God is always at work even when we cannot see His ways. May we give him our undivided attention, pushing aside all distractions so that we become increasingly aware of His leading.

Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

(Isaiah 43:19, NASB)

Lord, we thank You and praise You for always finding us in our wilderness. You never leave us there but give instructions to us to lead to blessing. Thank You, that in the midst of all that is going on in the world, You give each of us Your undivided attention. Help us to give you the same. Amen.


Photo by Artyom Manchenkov on Unsplash




  1. So comforting to remember that God does not lead us into the wilderness to abandon us there, but so that we will meet with him alone.

    1. It's amazing when we think we are alone, we are truly never alone. He meets us right there.

  2. Love the thought of the Lord giving us His undivided attention!

    1. Jerralea, He will give heed to our cries and provide us His Presence.

  3. That the Lord of the universe would give us His undivided attention--wow!

    1. Barbara, it is most humbling to think of His undivided attention. Oh, how He cares for us!


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