It wasn’t many years after the meeting at the first well (Genesis 16) that Hagar found herself again at another well, a well that she didn’t see at first. A well that when found, gave her and her son life, life
that before had been ebbing away in the desert.
I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating it must have been to be thrown out of the only “home” you know with a child and only enough food and drink for a short while. What had she done? Her life wasn’t her own to begin with and she had simply obeyed her owners. Now those very owners threw her out as a result of the problem they had created. How hopeless and full of despair she must have felt. And to top it off she now had to watch that which was most precious to her, her son, die as a result? How low could one get in life?
But as alone and as helpless as she felt in that moment, the “God who sees me” and the God after whom she named her son, “God hears” (Ishmael), saw and heard! She was not alone and deserted. Theangel of the Lord called to her,
“Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy as he grew up.” (Genesis 21:17-20)
This story reminds me of another time in history where a woman’s eyes where opened to a well that gave life.
The story is also about a woman who wasn’t included in God’s chosen people at the time. It is recounted in Jn 4, where Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water… Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The Samaritan woman asked, “Where can you get this living water?” And Jesus proceeded to reveal to her and her community over the next two days, the Well of Living Water.
Jesus’s quote of scripture in Matthew 4:4, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,” is so true. Hagar here, again in dire circumstances, needed more than what naturallife offered to sustain her.
May our eyes be opened to the fullness of life that is offered us by the Lord. Jesus is the life giving Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of man. (John 1:1-4)
God’s word – He Himself – was revealed to Hagar in her distress, “I will make him into a great nation” and His life giving words were a well of life opened up to her.
She drew her sustenance from the One who sees her. She drew up from the Well of the God who hears.
If you are in devastatingly dry circumstances where you see no hope around you, there is a God who sees and hears and like He said to the Samaritan woman at the well, if you ask, He will give you living water. There is a well of water near you in the covenant of grace. You may not have been aware of it because you have been so consumed by your pain and despair. But now, let God open it too you that you might be refresh and revived for the promises He has given you to live out.