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So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt. – Genesis 21:15-21
There is a man laying on the concrete floor of the large waiting area for the jury selection process at NRG Arena here in Houston as I write this. I don’t think he’s there by choice. About 15 minutes ago, there was a loud commotion and the bailiff and police officers were called over. I think he fainted. I’m guessing he’d like to get up and go home. But they seem to be keeping him there pending the arrival of EMTs. Don’t know what’s taking so long. But we’re all now waiting.
This is a drop in the bucket compared to the saga of Hagar and Ishmael. She’s not just fainted, nor has her child. They are on the verge of death. No food. No more water. No shelter. No protection. Vulnerable. Weak. In a very perilous situation. She was waiting for her child to die, and waiting for her own fate to unfold as well.
The EMTs have arrived. They have gotten the man to his feet. I suspect they’ll take him to the hospital for observation. I won’t watch any more. It’s his story, and he’s entitled to some privacy in the face of the situation. There are 200 or more of his “closest” friends seated all 6 feet apart. Waiting.
How are you at waiting? Does it make a difference whether you are waiting for rescue, to be called for jury duty voir dire? Waiting for your next birthday before you turn 16 or 61? Waiting for test results – medical or placement – or for your first child to be born?
We may think we know what we’re waiting for. But truth be told, we have only an inkling of it. Sometimes we may be exactly correct. The result comes back negative (good for medical tests). The wedding day gives way to the honeymoon. The judge calls your name and you’re on the jury. Or not.
But sometimes there comes a Crazy Ivan. Sometimes God breaks in in unexpected ways. Like here…God opens Hagar’s eyes and she sees a well nearby. It was there all along. But she did not see it. Maybe God is waiting, too, for us to see his provision. Perhaps we are the ones on whom God is waiting. Waiting for us to repent and believe the good news. Waiting for us to take him up on his promises. Waiting for us to mend a broken relationship. Waiting for us to come to the aid of someone in need.
Yesterday I pondered who might give me a cool refreshing cup of water today. Today I’m waiting to see how God will use me to bless someone for his glory. Maybe I can open someone’s eyes to his presence, goodness, and provision. I might encourage someone not to give up hope as they wait for God to come to their rescue.
But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They who hope in him will not be disappointed. We who trust him will be sustained. He’s waiting for us even as we wait for him.