THE KEY TO PERSEVERING AND OVERCOMING SUCH THINGS IS NOT TO LIE DOWN OR ABORT YOUR MINISTRY AND/OR YOUR ASSIGNMENT WHILE YOUR GOING THROUGH. RATHER, KEEP DOING THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY EVEN WHILE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF YOUR TRIAL, BECAUSE, YOUR ASSIGNMENT AND YOUR DESTINY IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR PRESS.
DON’T ABORT: OPEN YOUR EYES, “THERE IS A WELL SPRING OF HOPE IN YOUR VALLEY OF BACA”
GEN. 21:14-20: NIV 14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[c] began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
IN GEN. 21:14-20, HAGAR WAS SUFFERING IN THE WILDERNESS AND HAD HAD ENOUGH. HISTORICALLY, THE PLACE WHERE SHE AND ISMAEL FOUND THEMSELVES AFTER THE EXILE WAS CALLED THE “VALLEY OF BACA” – IN HEBREW – THE PLACE OF SORROWS (REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY PLACE IN LIFE THAT CAUSES SORROW – TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, DRY PLACES, ETC.)
SO, IN VERSE 15, THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, IN HER DISTRESS, SHE CAST HER CHILD ISMAEL UNDER A SHRUB, THEN SHE HERSELF WENT A BOW SHOT AWAY, FELL DOWN AND BEGAN TO WEEP. NOW ISMAEL REPRESENTS HER MINISTRY AND/OR HER ASSIGNMENT, AND INEVITABLY HER PROMISE AND/OR HER DESTINY. IN GEN 16:6-13, WHEN HAGAR RAN AWAY, AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD (EL ROI) SAW HER IN THE WILDERNESS ABOUT TO DIE, HE INFORMED HER THAT SHE WAS WITH CHILD AND ASSIGNED HER TO RETURN HOME, TO BE OBEDIENT TO HER MISTRESS AND TO RAISE ISMAEL (HER ASSIGNMENT). ALSO, IN GEN 17:20 GOD PROMISED ABRAHAM THAT ISMAEL WOULD BE THE FATHER OF A GREAT NATION (HER DESTINY). HAD THE ANGEL OF THE LORD NOT REDIRECTED HAGAR, HAGAR WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH PROMISE AND DESTINY AND WOULD HAVE ABORTED HER ASSIGNMENT AND HER DESTINY. IN GEN. 21, THE ANGEL OF THE LORD HAD TO AGAIN REMIND HER OF THE PROMISE, AND INSTRUCTED HER TO GET ISMAEL FROM WHERE SHE PUT HIM DOWN AND CONTINUE ON WITH HER ASSIGNMENT .
JUST LIKE HAGAR HAD TO PRESS HER WAY, NO MATTER WHAT, WE TOO MUST STAY IN THE MOMENTUM OF THE ASSIGNMENT AND PRESS. BECAUSE, YOUR ASSIGNMENT AND YOUR DESTINY IS DIRECTLY DEPENDENT UPON YOUR PRESS.
FURTHERMORE, THE STORY CONTINUES IN VERSE 19, WHICH SAYS, "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink." HERE, THE OPENING OF HER EYES REPRESENTS REVELATION. OFTENTIMES, WHEN WE ARE IN A HARD PLACE, WE CAN’T SEE OR HEAR FROM GOD BECAUSE OF THE STORM AND THE TEARS OF SORROW. BUT, IF WE COULD ONLY GET A REVELATION FROM GOD IT COULD CHANGE OUR MINDS AND EVENTUALLY OUR ENTIRE COURSE OF ACTION, AND PUT US RIGHT BACK ON TRACK TO OUR DESTINY. FURTHERMORE, I BELIEVE THAT THE WELL WAS ALWAYS THERE. SHE COULDN’T SEE IT BECAUSE OF HER DISTRESS. SO, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD HAD TO PROMPT HER TO SEE THE WELL SPRINGING UP.
SO, I ENCOURAGE YOU: IN THE MIDST OF YOUR TRIAL, STAY BEFORE GOD IN PRAYER AND MEDITATION AND WAIT ON THE REVELATION WITH HOPE AND EXPECTANCY. BECAUSE, IN PS 84:5-7 NIV, THE SCRIPTURE TELLS US "5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."
IN VERSE 5 OF THIS SCRIPTURE, THE PROMISE OF BLESSEDNESS IS TO THOSE WHO DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THEIR ASSIGNMENT AND IN DOING SO, PUT THEIR TRUST IN GOD'S STRENGTH AND NOT THEIR OWN.
IN VERSE 6, THE PSALMIST SAYS, "As they pass through the Valley of Baka, THEY MAKE IT a place of springs. THE PHRASE, "THEY MAKE IT" IMPLIES A DELIBERATE DECISION TO CHANGE THEIR PERCEPTION AND MAKE THIS PLACE OF SORROW A PLACE OF SPRINGS. A PARADIGM SHIFT OCCURRED IF YOU WILL, WHICH MEANS a change from thinking one way to another; BUT THIS CHANGE doesn't just happen; it is driven by agents of change- GOD IS THE GREATEST CHANGE AGENT THERE IS. One must REVOLUTIONIZE one's thought pattern.
THE VERSE GOES ONTO SAY, "the autumn rains also cover it with pools." THE POET IN ME SEES THE POOLS REPRESENTING THE EMPTY PLACES IN OUR HEARTS AND IN OUR SOULS WHERE THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF LIFE HAVE ERODED OR CAUSE A CRATER JUST BY THEIR IMPACT. THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, THE AUTUMN RAIN IS WHAT FILLS THESE POOLS. AUTUMN, WHICH IS THE EIGHT-MONTH. EIGHT BEING THE NUMBER OF NEW BEGINNINGS - the place of renewal and hope.
FINALLY, IN VERSE 7, THE PSALMIST SAYS, "They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion." ZION IS THE HOPEFUL DESTINATION OF WE WHO HANG ONTO OUR ASSIGNMENT AND HOLD OUT AS WE TRAVEL THIS ROAD ON THE WAY TO OUR DESTINY. EACH TRIAL AND TRIBULATION STRENGTHENING US (NOT DESTROYING US) AS WE MOVE ALONG THE WAY. SO AGAIN I ENCOURAGE YOU AND MYSELF: AS YOU ARE MARCHING UP TO ZION – YOUR DESTINY, AND YOU FIND YOUR SELVES IN A WILDERNESS, RIGHT IN THE MIDST OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT, DON’T ABORT, OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE A WELL SPRING OF HOPE, FOR YOURSELF AND THEY THAT SHALL BEHOLD YOUR TESTIMONY. THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SHARE, AGAPE!