Exhausted, she slumped to the ground. It was so hot. She was so tired. She was so desperate. But she couldn’t turn back. How could she continue to live there? Sarai, her mistress had become unyielding and harsh, now that she knew she was pregnant and it was only going to get worse. She despised her. Well, they despised each other, the barren older wife and the pregnant young slave. No, she’d take her chances in the desert and flee. Somehow she’d reached the spring. She needed a drink and some rest. She needed to steel herself to go on, back to Egypt. Every part of her was aching. Every part of her was afraid. Every part of her was alone. Every part of her was miserable. She couldn’t hold back the tears.
And then He found her. His eyes met hers. Suddenly her fear was gone. He spoke so tenderly.
“Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
In that moment she knew that He knew everything about her. He knew her name. He knew who she was. He knew where she’d come from. He knew where she was going. He didn’t have to ask her but He knew she needed to tell him.
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she answered.
“Go back to your mistress and submit to her. I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
There was strength in that gentle yet firm voice. There was strength in those eyes. Strength for her. She could feel it rising up inside of her. She’d sensed it as soon as He’d looked at her, as soon as He’d spoken. Every part of her felt His strength. Every part of her felt His peace. Every part of her felt His comfort. Every part of her felt His closeness. Every part of her felt His love.
That would have been enough but now He spoke again:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the LORD has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
Ishmael: God hears.
The Lord had heard her. The Lord had seen her. The Lord had known her misery. The Lord had known her name. And He loved her.
She had heard Him. She had seen Him. Now she knew Him. And she knew the name she would give Him:
"You are the God who sees me," she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
Nothing would ever be the same. She would never be the same. He loved her and she loved Him.
See Genesis 16