Genesis 21:14 – 21 “Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
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 [c] 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.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.”
This has always been one of the hardest stories in the Bible for me to read. The pain a mother endures over her child is so heart wrenching. A mother’s love for the child of her womb is deeper then the very depths of the ocean. We mothers would do nearly anything to save our child from calamity, serious health issues, the snare of the evil one.
Hagar’s reaction could be every mother’s reaction. We set out with the very best of intentions to care for our children. Even if we have no clue what we are doing or where we are heading. Hagar and her son were sent packing after an incident and I’m sure she was bewildered as to where they would go or how she could possibly care for this growing boy. When the water runs out and exhaustion and dehydration set it; the child is too large to carry and Hagar herself mostly likely is also in a weakened state. She helps her boy lie down in the shade and she moves away a bit to cry. Both mother and child weep; neither wanting the other to hear. But God hears them.
As a mother of a child (young man now) in crisis I have always related to Hagar. Hagar’s son was never really accepted as the heir to Abraham, and as this scene plays out in Genesis 21 Sarah has had her fill of Hagar and her son. And both were pushed away. In this Chapter of Genesis the name that Hagar uses for God is “El Roi” The God who Sees. I am so very thankful that God sees everything. He heard her sons cries and responded. Oh the hope that should give us, I know it is a hope that I cling too.
Without going into a lot of detail, just know that I feel her pain. My son’s life has been racked with rejection, mental illness, and drug addiction. At this juncture of his life, this mother is sitting under the tree at a distance crying, while her son is under another doing the same. Unlike Hagar who didn’t know God until he revealed Himself to her that day, I do know Him; and I am crying out to El Roi, My God who sees.