The Bible says: ‘Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found Hagar…in the desert…And he said, “Hagar…where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel…told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count”’ (vv.6-10 NIV). Hagar obeyed, and when her son Ishmael was born, God said, ‘I have heard you: I will surely bless him…make him fruitful and…greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation’ (Genesis 17:20 NIV). Most of us don’t like the idea of surrendering and obeying, and God didn’t send Hagar back to an easy place. But when she obeyed, He blessed her. Not all the places God wants us to go or the things He wants us to do will be easy. Sometimes they’ll be really hard. But we have to make a choice. Are we only going to surrender when we like the plan? Or are we going to surrender to God’s will, whatever that looks like? God, who knows the end from the beginning and who brings good things out of bad, has our best interests at heart. Even though it’s hard to do, if we’ll obey Him, He’ll bless us. He’ll give us grace and strength to help us when it’s a struggle. Sometimes, like Hagar, we can want to run away because it feels too hard. But by trying to escape our present situation, we may be running from the lesson God wants to teach us and the rewards that lie beyond it.
Take some time to read the book of Jonah. If you feel like running from what God’s called you to, ask Him to give you the strength to stay and surrender.
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