When I was a teenager and lived with my grandparents on a farm in Oregon for a year or so, I used to run away to the woods and loved to sit by the stream when life got heavy in my teenage world. I grew up playing in the woods, so it was a safe place for me.  Sometimes I would write poetry, watch for deer or daydream, sometimes even get lost and have to find my way back. I wasn’t necessarily running away permanently, but I was temporarily escaping to be by myself with my thoughts.

Hagar is a young Egyptian slave girl who was given to Abram by Sarai, her mistress for the purpose of getting pregnant with Abram’s child, preferably a son. But when it happened, Hagar foolishly looked down on Sarai who felt abused plus maybe a little jealous. Abram didn’t want to be bothered with all of the drama and told Sarai to do what she wanted with Hagar so Sarai mistreated Hagar.

We know that women can be mean to each other, and that is what happened. Instead of facing her problems, in her immaturity, Hagar ran. And the angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness by a spring of water and said where have you come from and where are you going? Of course, the angel already knew the answers to those questions, but I believe the angel wanted her to honestly admit that she had run away from her mistress, and I don’t think Hagar had a clue where she was going when she ran. A recipe for disaster.

It’s that old fight or flight reflex we all have that causes us to want to run when a problem is overwhelming or someone is abusing us. People often don’t have a plan when they run, they just let their emotions take over, and away they go.

The angel of the Lord calmly said– ”Go back to your mistress and put up with the abuse.” He promised her a big family and told her more comforting things about her future. But why did he ask her where she had come from? Could it be that like us, she couldn’t move forward until she admitted where she’d been, especially to herself… He wanted her to see that running away never solves anything and usually makes it worse. The Lord wanted her to know that He had a plan in the big mess of her life and he gave her a glimpse of a hopeful future to hold onto.

God wants to do the same for us when we find ourselves in a mess and want to run away. He will walk with us through the problem if we let Him, giving us His wisdom and comfort. When you feel like running away, will you run away or run to Jesus with your problems?

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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