The angel of the Lord said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
I stood in the airport walkway as people rushed past. A young teenager traveling alone, I had missed my connecting flight. I had no idea how to continue my journey. Bewildered and frightened, I felt completely helpless. Tears cascaded down my cheeks.
Suddenly someone called out: "Marion! Where are you headed?" I turned to see a family friend, en route to her connecting flight. With ease, she guided me to the service desk where I received an alternate flight to reach my destination. Forty-five years later, I still recall the surprise of hearing my name in that airport. Someone knew me! Someone was there to help me.
I imagine Hagar also felt alone and bewildered on the desert road. What a surprise to hear someone calling her name! Someone knew her. Someone knew how to guide her. That "someone" was the living, all-seeing God who sent an angel to help her. Hagar followed God's direction and became the mother of Ishmael.
Sometimes we too may feel lost in perplexity and fear, not knowing what to do. But as we pray and meditate on God's word, we'll come to see that God truly knows us by name (see Isa. 43:1) and offers "grace to help us in our time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
(Marion Speicher Brown)
Watchful God, thank you that we are always in your care. Amen.
(picture: sunset at my home)