This morning, during my private prayer and study time, I began to let thanksgiving have its way in my heart. With this Siberian front coming through it's cold and I am so tired of being cold. But I was so thankful to wake up under a warm electric blanket this morning. And the apartment was bearable but cool. I don't know where it came from, but I just began to thank God for food, clothing, warmth, and plenty of blankets to cover windows to slow down the cold drafts.
Something happened in those moments as I got lost in thankfulness. My perspective changed for one thing. But gratefulness gave way to peace. Peace led me down a path that led to a sense of knowing that He sees. He knows.
I have read, reread, meditated, thought about, hashed, and rehashed the story of Hagar found in Genesis 16. I wish I could have seen the visual difference of her demeanor as she realized God saw her. She was in a rough spot, interestingly enough. Yet what peace must have flooded her heart and mind as she realized God had walked right up to her in the dark and dry place. And He saw her. And she knew it. It's that knowing that warms the heart and lightens the load, isn't it?
God did not wait until she "got it all together" or was in a better state of mind. He didn't wait until she could think clearly. He didn't tell her he'd come back later when she wasn't having such a difficult time. Her life picture was looking pretty ugly to her at that moment. She was in despair. Sarah has mistreated her. (Genesis 16:6) so Hagar was broken, alone, had no direction, no home, no income....and she was pregnant!
I love the picture I get in my mind of God just marching right up to Hagar in the midst of the mess. It's similar to the picture my imagination paints of Jesus walking out on the water to His disciples - in the middle of the storm.
God is moved with compassion when we are in tough spots, He isn't put off by it. Jesus waited until the storm was just right - then marched right out on the water to His trembling disciples. The Angel of the Lord waited until Hagar was just alone enough - just desperate enough before He walked right into her situation. This gives me so much hope and peace. I understand I don't have to get it all together for God to visit. He comes when life is the ugliest and brings peace and grace.
Today,, I will be thankful that God seems to like the stormy weather. It's a good thing too! lol. He's not confused, dismayed, perplexed, or put off by our circumstances. Maybe it's the most difficult storms and darkest situations that draw Him to us. My meditations will be on His presence in my storm. I'll welcome a fireside chat with Him today as I ponder about my own circumstances. I'll remind myself that He sees - and He comes anyway. I'll rest right there in the peace that comes with that thought. Will you join me?
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