And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands (Genesis 16:7-9).
Hagar was having a problem in her work that was her home as well (Genesis 16:1-16). The problem was very classic, namely: feeling unfairly treated by her employer. She sulked and ran away from home that had raised her all her life. In her escape, the angel of the LORD, which was the appearance of Jesus himself found her and said, “Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”
We often experience the same problem as Hagar’s. Suddenly we feel “not at home” in the home/place which has been rearing us . The problem is the same: we feel unfairly treated.
The problem is, we often take the same path as Hagar’s: running away from problems. Today, as the Lord said to Hagar, He wants to say to you, “Go back! Do not run from your problems, keep yourselves under the authority of the existing authority, even if you seem to be treated unfairly (submit yourself under her hands).”
Problems exist to be dealt with, not to be avoided. Problems do not need to be sought, but if they come, we must not run.
There are several reasons why we must not run away from our problems that we need to understand, namely:
1. Problems that arise in our lives are often just a “reaction” of our behavior patterns that are not accurate.
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face (vv.4-6).
Oppression that happened to Hagar was because she lacked of having a “spirit of submission.” She despised her mistress. The lack of “submissive spirit” is rooted in pride. When someone who has root of pride feels to be “superior,” his pride will soon manifest. That’s what happened to Hagar. During this time she was “tepid,” but when she knew that she could do what could not be done by her mistress, that she could produce what could not be produced by her mistress, namely giving birth to a child, she immediately looked down to her mistress . Because of being despised, Sarai reacted, she oppressed Hagar.
Problems that arise are often just a reaction of our behavior patterns that is not accurate. If we have enough humility to re-evaluate ourselves, then through existing problems, we can know the patterns of behavior that are not accurate that still exist in our lives. Those are opportunities to re-evaluate, correct ourselves , and experience a change of life.
If we used to run away everytime a problem arises, then we will not have the opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves and experience a change of life. That is why people who have a habit of running away from problems are difficult to experience a change of life and to be mature. They prefer to grumble and blame others, blame the situation or anything and anyone who can be blamed, including God.
Do not run away from your problem, face it! Learn, change, grow and be mature.
2. People who used to run away from problems will never experience clarity about the purpose of their lives.
And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai (vv. 7-8).
God asked Hagar from where she came from and where she was going. And Hagar replied: “I’m running away.” This answer did not match the question. The reason why Hagar did not answer God’s question, because she was not clear about where she came from and where she was going.
Someone who used to run away from his problems is often vague about his true identity. He does not know where he comes from (being “a nut who forgets its shell”), and it is unclear where he will go (not knowing the purpose of his life).
Do not run away from problems, face them! Learn about life there, the more we learn the more we will be clear. We become people who are not easy to forget ourselves and start to understand where God “draines” our lives. Someday we will clear about the purpose in our lives that the Lord has set for us, and we will live in it .
People who have lived in the purpose of their lives will not run away from their problems.
3. God always sees and hears the oppression that occurred over our lives
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction (vv. 9-11).
This is what we must understand: God is the God who always sees and hears the oppression that occured over us. He will never leave us alone. He will help us in time.
As long as we run away from our problems, we will never see the strength of God’s hand that helps us. That is why people who used to run away from their problems rarely see and experience the power of God’s miracles.
These are reasons why we must not run away from our problems. Do not run away from problems, face them! See and experience the power of God’s hand descended on your life! Because He is the God who always sees and hears the oppression that occurred over us.
Also read: Belief that Turns Sadness into Joy.