The Weight of Obscurity 

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:“You are now pregnant  and you will give birth to a son.You shall name him Ishmael,[a] for the Lord has heard of your misery.12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him and he will live in hostilitytoward[b] all his brothers.”13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.  Genesis 16:7-14

She felt used and misunderstood. She was seen but people only saw what she could do for them. Her dreams, her desires, her plans seemed to dissolve by someone else’s itinerary. She felt the brunt of someone else’s decision and was left with the consequences. Hagar (Hagar was Sarai’s servant who was given to Abraham to try and fulfill the promise of God through Human Resources. The idea was she would conceive and give Sarai a child that way. But it didn’t work out like Sarai planned. Like anything that comes with the flesh, dissension and jealously drove a wedge between the two women. So, Sarai treated her “harshly” scripture says.) carried more than a child with her as she ran away from her harsh circumstances. She carried the weight of being seen but treated like she fell in the cracks of oblivion.

We’ve all been there, seen but treated like we weren’t. The sacrifices we make go unnoticed, the commitments blown off, the loyalty taken for granted…we feel used and worst of all looked over. Like some how our best wasn’t good enough and as a result our dreams dissolve in the shadows of obscurity. We had more to offer, we have great potential but it’s not noticed. We end up watching someone else get the promotion, the title, the grade, the car, the friends, the husband, the child, the applause…someone else seems to get the product of promise, someone other than us.

Maybe you’ve never been there , in Hagars shoes. Where it seems everyone’s sucesss is at your cost. Where things are happening but at your not in it. Some of us know the burden of obscurity all to well. The weight lays heavy on our souls as this question swirls like a cyclone through our mind: does anyone see?

They say they do but we’re not so sure. So we hide behind our schedules and use our callings as camouflage; we feel obscure so we hide. That’s a tale as old as time; Satan convincing us we are obscure and as a result, we try and hide from the One who is searching for us. He’s clever alright. Knowing the fatality of obscurity is in it’s irony; that if we feel unseen our instinct react as though we are.  Eve did it in the garden and we still do it today. As Adam and his help mate heard the gentle steps of the Creator coming their way, they hid. In Genesis 3 God called to His prize and said “Where are you?”. The Almighty knew where they were so why did He ask? He didn’t just want to know where they where He wanted to see them. God asked Hagar the same question as she was running from obscurity; “Where have you come from and where are you going?” She was in the wilderness, pregnant with a promise she had yet to receive. The wilderness is often a place where we are at a crossroad of where we used to be and where we are going. In a place where promise is growing but it hasn’t began to show. It’s a place of encounter; where promises are pronounced. But Hagar didn’t know that. She only knew the burden of obscurity. But Someone saw. God found her in her obscurity and spoke a promise into her present. Nothing’s as obscure as the present because we can’t see beyond it so we think we aren’t seen either. Hagar was stuck in obscurity, pregnant with a promise that she had yet to receive…maybe in those times when it feels like I’m stuck in obscurity my situation is actually pregnant with a promise I didn’t even realize God made. Maybe in those times I feel used and looked over, Someone has seen and that Someone has promised that there’s future beyond the present. Maybe what seems obscure and unimportant is actually the stage for our purpose to be born.

Many of us will find ourselves in between where we were and where we are going but don’t be mistaken, that is NOT obscurity. God not only knows where you are He sees you there and your situation is pregnant with promise. The beauty of being a child of God is not solely in being known by Him but being seen by Him; found in His promise.

Rest in what seems like obscurity knowing that He is the God of seeing; Jehovah Roi. And instead of hiding in the harshness of the moment look for the one who looks for you and after you. For the darkness of obscurity melts in His embrace.

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Wonder of the Word 

The word of God has saved my life. I mean that literally. Without the guiding light of Scripture I would have stayed on the dark path I found myself on many years ago. Quite frankly,  It saved me from myself. I was my own worst enemy, my mind was against me. So, its my passion for others to see the worth of the Bible; for women to realize that all they need can be found wrapped in the scared writings of scripture. It’s the breath of God blowing through our our spiritual lungs, it’s the key to our chains, the scalpel for our infirmities, it’s the salve for our wounds and it’s the honey for our tounges. We have no greater privilege in the West than to be able to own our a copy of the breath of God. People in foreign countries risk life and limb for a copy. Some are willing to chose it over food.  In Corrie Ten Booms book “The Hiding Place” it tells of her heroic actions as she risked her life to smuggle a small copy into the concentration camp. Why would someone be willing to risk their lives for a book? Because life isn’t worth living without it. It’s the greatest necessity we have. I believe that to my core; because America is living proof you can be prosperous outwardly, having all your physical needs met, and be wasting away inwardly. Our souls need the word like our lungs need oxygen. Without it we’ll suffocate in our own flesh. 

Where we are found lacking it supliments us, when we’re tired and weary is refreshes us, when we are hopeless it gives us courage, it silences fears and defines our identity. It directs our course and sets us free. 

It’s not a chore or checklist to mark off; it’s a privelege. To crack open the very words of God Almighty. The same words that threw stars into place, that holds back the tide, that sustains the earths rotation, that feeds the lions and the swallows. This word has cosmic impact; but we push it aside. We choose our favorite TV shows, social media, or sports over the Word that could change the course of our lives. Everytime it’s opened it breathes change. Maybe that’s why we let it lay; We are content in our chaos. Or maybe it’s because the chaos around us has confused us to the point that we truly believe it’s over our heads, we can’t grasp it. Or maybe the confusion isn’t about clarity but about power. Maybe amidst the chaos of privelge we have surrendered the greatest privelge known to man; hearing from God. 

Pause and consider this: that God Himself speaks to man. 

Why? Why would such Soverignty and Majesty correspond with such frailty and brokenness? 

To fix us. To save us. To make us whole. To strengthen us. 

But we choose entertainment over fulfillment. 

God wants to speak into your darkness. He desires to heal you, to restore you, to guide you. But we must listen first. 

I’m so grateful for God is doing in His church. He’s moving. But may we never be like the crowds in Jesus time, who liked to be entertained by Him but not conformed by Him. They liked to see the miracles but they turned in disgust at His words. John 6 shows us that there were some who because of His teaching, “turned back and no longer followed Him”.  As these turned their backs to the Son of God, Christ asked the 12″do you want to leave as well?” Of course Simon Peter answered and said “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

As disciples we must not only be in awe of His works but of His words as well. Fair weather Christians marvel at the works and excuse the word. True disciples see the eternal aspect attached to the words and allow it to change them. 

To be disciples we must be taught. That means we must listen. How can we be disciples with a closed bible? 

The great commission will never be fulfilled if our bibles are closed. You can’t make disciples without it. 

And if it remains closed so will our chains.