Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Unexpected Showers

Binu Shaji Thomas, Kochamma
St. Thomas MTC, Lombard, IL
13 So she named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are El-roi”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?”

The famous quote "Man proposes, God Disposes," written by Augustinian Monk Thomas A Kempis in his classic book ,"On the Imitation of Christ," may not hold true always but sometimes we may come across such situations in our lives. We always try to do things in accordance with our desires and wishes but God does what He wills. Solomon in Proverbs 19: 21, thus says that "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel that will stand." The plight of Hagar gives us an insight on this aspect.

Hagar was Sarai's trusted maidservant. She came out of Egypt with Abram and his family. With this status, she possessed no choice and had no voice in becoming a surrogate mother. As a slave she was mistreated by the authority over her and even Abram and Sarai never ever called her by name. She was used by her masters for their selfish whims and wishes but later on was mistreated and rejected when she was found pregnant. But God intervened.  Even though she was never named by her masters, God called her by her name (16.8). In the Bible we find that Hagar was the first person to be encountered by God Almighty and she was the first woman to be given God’s Promises, (25.23) which is similar to the one that God gave to Abram. In response, we find Hagar to be the only person in the Old Testament to name God (16.13).

Rejections and Denials are harsh and stark realities faced in our lives. But God who is righteous and just judge always sees the plight of the downtrodden, the abused and the forsaken. We might be considered as" unworthy" or "useless" because we live in a world where everything is measured through worldly parameters. But God will never ignore or forget us for He sees, knows and cares for us.

The meanings of the names which were given by God to Hagar's son and Hagar to God are both apt and very significant. “Ishmael" means "God Hears" and Hagar calls Him "God you have seen me." These names itself reveal the self-existing nature of God. In the Book of Exodus, Chapter 3, God appears to Moses and anoints him to be the liberator of Israelites. He says "I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and heard their cry." The same God even today is a silent listener to all our woes and cries and responds in His own manner and time.

Hagar gives a name to the well (stream) in the desert as "BER-LAHAI-ROI" which means "To the Living one who sees me." Such was her commitment to the one who touched her with great Empathy. Streams are, in fact, God's Grace that we experience in the midst of our journey through the wilderness. Through His compassion, reorganization and reinstating of life-situations, we are even today able to feel the invisible Touch of the invisible Hands. He is a God who may dispose our proposals but only with a purposeful plan. 


Gracious Lord, nurture us in your Image and help us to grow in the ever flowing Grace of your Divine Presence.  Amen.

Knowing God's Providence In All Life Situations Is The Hallmark Of A True Christian.

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