“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.” Genesis 21:19
The woman whose eyes God opened were Hagar’s. She was Abraham’s concubine, a gift from Sarah to bear him a child. (A side note here: wives giving husbands concubines is simply not a good idea. Don’t do it!). Sarah was in a rush to try and fulfill God’s promise to make a great nation from Abraham. Because she was barren, Sarah thought of another plan. Her impatience brought a great deal of heartache to many people.
In the inevitable jealousy that followed, Sarah drove Hagar and her child away. In the harsh wilderness near Beersheba, Hagar had run out of water, laid her child under a bush so that he might die in the shade, and moved off a small distance so she too might die.
The Bible tells us God heard the cries of the child, had an angel assure Hagar of her survival, and then we come to the verse quoted above, “God opened her eyes.”
Look carefully at the verse again. Do you get the impression that God miraculously created a spring there in the wilderness? Not really. The wording sounds as if God simply helped make her aware of His provision that was always there. Her grief, fear, hopelessness, etc. had blinded her to a blessing.
We should not blame Hagar for her weakness, but should see ourselves in it. I am quite confident that my inability, or my unwillingness, at this stage of my spiritual life to seek first the kingdom of God blinds me to a great many provisions He has for me. I’m sure God always has so much more for each of His children than we recognize. The GraceWaves are constant. My ability to recognize them waxes and wanes.
Faith has often been described as “eyes to see the world.” Look at your life with faith and the eyes of your heart will be enlightened (Eph. 1:18). You will see hope, love, grace, providence, purpose.
Try it. Look at your life with the eyes of faith. What do you see?
- Your present tasks are an expression of stewardship. You are using the gifts and opportunities God has given you. Your job does not define you, but it does give you a means to serve God and others.
- The reading of scripture and devotion to God in prayer is a daily form of worship. The Bible is not simply a list of rules to obey, but a guide to relationship with God. Prayer also is not an oath to repeat but a sharing of your heart with your Father.
- The people around you, starting with your family, need the grace God shares through you. Being an agent of grace means finding the blessing that every person can be.
What I want you to do is stop viewing your life from only a practical point of view. Your day is not composed of only tasks to be checked off. You are right now being formed in the image of the Creator. Don’t you think He has more for you than anxious thoughts, frustrating chores, or dreary duties?
Opening your eyes is not an easy task nor is it a one-time commitment. Hopefully, this week’s GraceWaves will be today’s reminder. Open your eyes! See what God has for you right now. He has already provided for your need.
Dr. Terry Ellis
October 4, 2010