By Elizabeth Prata
As we are forbidden to gather today to worship our Lord with joy and companionably as a Body, we might be feeling sad. I know I am. We might be feeling worried about elderly parents or grandparents we cannot visit. We might be anxious about not being able to get to our adult children who live far. We ourselves might be lonely in our abode, alone and not being able to see our friends in person.
I think of Hagar often. She was badly used, rejected, mocked, and cast out. She ran off, and sat down all alone in the wilderness. Yet, despite being alone, the Lord (in a pre-incarnate visit) personally attended to her. He reassured her.
The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:7,13-14).
He instructed her to return home. After a while life became intolerable again for Hagar, as her mistress became jealous of her boy Ishmael when Isaac was born. Sarah sent Hagar away and Abraham agreed. She and Ishmael went to the desert. Out of water and death looming, she put the boy under a bush and sat away a little, not bearing to watch him die.
And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” (Genesis 21:8-21).
He sent angels to minister to despairing Elijah in the desert. (1 Kings 19:6)
He surprised John on Patmos with a visit, and put His hand on John and said do not be afraid. (Revelation 1:17).
We won’t be blessed with a bodily visit from Jesus or have God call to us from heaven, but Jesus IS with us. He promised never to leave us or forsake us. This is a repeated promise. Look how many times:
Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalm 94:14…
Lonely for family, church family, friends? Feeling alone today? Feeling adrift? Disoriented? You are not alone. Jesus is with you.