A Short Story Based on Genesis 16:1-15
“You worthless slave! You have caused me so much trouble; I almost wish you had died out there in the wilderness. If you weren’t carrying Abram’s child… Humph! I would beat you senseless for your insolence.”
Hagar clamped her lips together in a thin line and stood tall in the face of Sarai’s rage.She wanted to blurt out every detail of her experience in the wilderness – how Abram’s God had seen her lying there on the ground with her face covered in muddy tears because of the older woman’s harsh words and abuse. How He comforted her and told her the baby she carried was a son. Yes, she…Hagar… a worthless slave, would bear Abram a fine son when her mistress couldn’t even conceive!
A hint of a smirk played on the young slave’s lips. The old familiar arrogance bubbled up from the pit of her stomach. When my son is born, we’ll see who’s worthless, she thought
“Submit to your mistress.” The force of the whispered words in her heart left her emotions off-balance just as Sarai raised her hand, striking the young slave’s cheek.
Hagar staggered backwards. Her cheeks paled and black spots danced before her eyes. She grasped her bulging abdomen and breathed deeply to keep herself from fainting.
The eyes of her mistress narrowed. “If anything happens to that child because of your foolishness, you will pay! Now, go to your own tent and get out of my sight!”
“Submit to Sarai.” The Voice spoke again as Hagar stumbled back to her own tent.
Shadows crept over her soul, like the darkness swallows the desert at twilight. She feared this inner darkness more than anything her mistress could do t her. Would Abram’s God kill her unborn son because of her foolish pride?
“Forgive me Lord. I know you told me I must come back and submit to Sarai, but you see how she goads me. I don’t know how I can bear her abuse until this child is born. “
Tears pooled in her eyes as she sank wearily into the pile of goatskins in one corner. Though she was able to maneuver her body into a comfortable position, her heartache increased. Sleep refused to come. “I guess I thought it would be different. I hoped you would change her heart and things would be better. But she hasn’t changed at all! Why did you make me come back here?” She sobbed, unable to stem the flow of her tears.
“Things will be better Hagar. You’ll see.”
El Roi, the God who sees, was still watching her, hearing the cries of her heart! An overwhelming shame blanketed her soul and she wept bitterly. “I am unworthy of Your care, my Lord. After all You did for me in the wilderness, my only thought was to flaunt it in the face of my mistress. Help me to lay aside my foolish pride and arrogance. Help me to please you with my attitude.”
Once again, the Voice spoke to her heart. “You cannot come face to face with the God who sees you and remain the same. Your mistress has not changed, but you have.”
Hagar struggled to sit up, dashing the tears from her cheeks as a cocoon of love enveloped her. A sense of wonder swelled inside for His words to her heart rang true. El Roi was not just the God of Abram; He was her God too! He saw the ugly condition of her heart and cleansed it, made it new again. He forgave her!
The young slave knew what she had to do. She bowed her head and surrendered her will wholly to her God. “No matter what my mistress does; no matter how she treats me; even if she never changes toward me or the son I carry, I will serve Sarai as an offering of love to You.”
by Bonnie Winters – January 21, 2011