Hide-and-seek was one of my favorite childhood games, a game where you simply needed to outsmart the seeker and arrive at home base before being caught. That was easy enough, unless hiding places were limited. As the game progressed, getting to home base without being discovered grew more difficult. The stakes were higher. The need to outwit the seeker intensified.
I have been so weighted down with self-disappointment that my only desire was to hide from everyone, even the omnipresent God. I authored the bad choices or decisions, yet somehow it seemed I would never recover—certainly never be able to forgive myself. And forgiveness from others? Out of the question.
Hagar attempted to hide from the hurt and shame of her circumstances. She was the handmaiden of Sarai, who became pregnant by Abram, Sarai’s husband, at Sarai’s proposition. Soon after, Sarai turned against Hagar, who, in turn, felt the impact of Sarai’s rejection. When Hagar attempted to run away from the situation and hide, the angel of the Lord visited her. Hagar did not realize she was headed for a wall that would force her to turn around and deal with the reality of her pain.
Running from shame, hurt, pain, and rejection seems to be the best plan until a wall appears that requires us to confront the real issue. The angel of the Lord told Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her. “Return to the source of your pain and surrender” was the instruction. Her reward? The promise her descendants would be numberless. This act of obedience was a paved pathway to abundant blessing and prosperity.
Hiding is never the solution to overcoming. Poor choices lead to dreadful consequences. Hiding will not circumvent the necessary restoration process. God wants us to develop from every struggle in this life. Just as He did for Hagar, He will give us instructions to lead us away from shame into deliverance. We must first be obedient. The prerequisite is returning to the shelter of surrender and relinquishing our pain. In that safe place, God will restore us and make us whole.
Hagar chose to obey the angel of the Lord, and she received the promises of God. Stop hiding. Go back. Surrender the root of your pain. The blessings of the Lord are sure to overtake you.
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