“God’s great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this would be unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Self must stand out of the way that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He often brings His people into difficulties: That being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying and little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks know but little of the God of tempests; but they who “do business in great waters”, these see His “wonders in the deep”. Among the huge waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God then if you have been led by a rough road. It is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and loving-kindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: Your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you that you might behold His glory as it passed by.” – Spurgeon
Within thy circling power I stand;
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.
– Isaac Watts
He found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, on the way to Shur – meaning “a wall“. It sure felt like she was backed up against one, pressed in by a series of awful things. Her name was Hagar (possibly meaning “taking flight” or “stranger” in Hebrew). And a stranger she was – an Egyptian maid.
Where are you going, He asked. (Why does He seem to like to ask questions that He already knows the answers to? Or questions that He knows we have no answers of our own to? 🙂 )
She replied with the obvious, which was all she could comprehend. “I am fleeing.” Perhaps He would reveal a place of proper refuge. Or at least offer some words of sympathy and comfort.
He told her to go back, and made a promise. A promise of abundance, yet also laced with antagonism. That promise carried instruction, and a revelation of Himself – “God hears”. He who addressed her by name, had seen her, heard her and was now speaking with her personally.
She may have been a stranger by lineage, but in her heart she was alien no more.
El-Roi. “The living one who sees me.”
I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes to You
I Will Lift My Eyes (Bebo Norman)