Lenten Devotional

February 24, 2018

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Genesis 16:7-15

Suffering Because of Somebody Else’s Mistakes

The story of Hagar, Sarah (Sarai) and Abraham (Abram), gives us many colorful and interesting topics to discuss, such as: surrogate motherhood, dueling mothers, bigamy…etc, but it seems less relevant to us for a Lenten devotion.

Funnily, I could relate to Hagar’s situation in some similar scenarios at my workplace: Hagar, an Egyptian slave, reported to her direct manager Sarah.  Abraham, as top management, made all the final decisions or approvals for Sarah’s proposal.

In Hagar’s position, she had to fulfill the tasks assigned by her manager, Sarah.  She had no control over the decisions made by Sarah and Abraham. Instead of waiting on God’s timing, Sarah and Abraham wanted to “assist” God in fulfilling his covenant – to have an heir from Abraham’s “own body.” (Genesis 15) So Hagar was given the task of bearing a child for Abraham.

Hagar followed management’s decision, she fulfilled her task and got pregnant and, a bit too proud of her success, she “despised” her boss Sarah. The result:  mistreated by Sarah, Hagar quit and fled.

We all have experienced frustrations at our workplace, haven’t we?  You work hard at your position and obtain good results.  Instead of a promotion, you face company politics, wrong management decisions and cut backs, or you do not receive a promotion and you find yourself in a redundant position.  God, why am I a victim of management’s wrong decisions?  Why do I suffer because of somebody else’s mistakes?  If I were in that position, I would not make such stupid mistakes! 

Things happen in our world that seem unfair, we suffer consequences that are not triggered by ourselves. Sometimes, in the midst of the pain, it does not make sense why God puts us through such suffering. Especially when you think you have been faithfully serving the Lord, working harder than anyone else and doing your best in all your given assignments. 

God sent an angel to Hagar, to reassure her that he cared about her and her son Ishmael (“God hears”!).  God hears our crying in the midst of our suffering!  He has a higher plan which we might not see at the moment, but our Lord is a faithful God.  If we trust in him and follow his will, we will fulfill the purpose God has for our lives.  Be courageous whoever is facing a difficult time!  Have faith in our Lord for in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

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