Someone is Listening

It always strikes me how the only woman who named God, breathed her very own revelation of Him into words, was a slave and a foreigner, desperate and far from home.  I wish I knew her story, how she came to be traveling in a nomadic chieftan’s household as a maid to his famously beautiful wife.  And whether she was herself beautiful enough to be used, or plain enough to be discounted?….certainly young enough to be fertile when her mistress was not, and resented enough to be mistreated.  But she was not alone and Someone who knew her (inside and out) met her in the desert and spoke peace into her wounded heart, and hope into her life.

And this girl-slave who met God in the desert named her Creator with words; called Him “the living One who sees me.”  In a culture where women could easily be used and overlooked, whose sole value lay in their dowry and their ability to bear sons, it is of breath-taking significance that God shows Himself to this used woman.  Even more precious are the words He spoke to her.  No grand theology or proclamations about the fate of the world, just intensely personal interest in the things that concerned her most– the future of her unborn child, and her need for a strong deliverer.  Isn’t this still what we need most from Him as women: interest and involvement in the things of our hearts?  In household and family, and all the relationships that matter so much to us?

He told her to name her child Ishmael, “God hears”…every time she said his name, for a lifetime, it would be a reminder that Someone was listening to her and Someone cared.  It is a promise and a reminder to women everywhere: He still does.

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13

For the story of Hagar and Ishmael, read Genesis chapters 16 and 21.