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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 3, 2015.

There are times in the Christian life when we walk through a wilderness experience. God’s voice seems far away. We cannot turn back, but have no clear vision for moving forward. The temptation to feel abandoned and despairing will be very real.


This scenario describes how Hagar, Abraham and Sarah’s servant girl and her young son, Ishmael, must have felt in Genesis 21. After being thrown out of their master’s home and left to fend for themselves in a desert wasteland, these two wandered aimlessly for days in a state of emotional shock and physical deprivation.


The loss was devastating. Hagar not only had lost her livelihood, but her place in the community, those relationships, and the ability to care for her son. Though her expulsion was not entirely unprovoked, the severity of her punishment felt like a death sentence.


As we’ve noted in the article “The God Who Sees You and Me” (, Hagar had run away from Sarah, her mistress, into this very desert on a previous occasion. In the midst of her turmoil then, God had graciously intervened causing her to realize that though she felt alone and abandoned, He was tenderly watching over her.


This time, however, the rejection from Abraham’s household was irrevocable and her ties had been permanently severed. Now, having run out of food and water, she and her son simply gave up and prepared to die.


Have you ever been in a place of devastating loss where you discover that God is not only all you need but He is really all you have?


In Hagar’s case, these losses and separation were necessary for God to fulfill His promise to make her son, Ishmael, into a great nation. Though He did not change their circumstances, God intervened again, and supernaturally provided water, in addition to their other needs, as well, because we learn that they not only survived; they prospered.


What is stunning to note is that Hagar and Ishmael’s new life began while they were both still in the wilderness with nothing to cling to but God’s promise that He had a future and a hope for them. In the midst of their utter bankruptcy, God proved to be a source of ample provision, comfort, guidance, protection…and faithfulness.


If your past has been shattered — the loss of a job, a loved one, your health, reputation, etc. — and today you find yourself in a wilderness, fall on your knees, look up, cry out! God is there! He sees you, He knows…and He cares. He has a promise for your future, too.


Open the Scriptures and search for it in His Word. It will leap off the page at you. Press in until you take hold of it and don’t waver in your belief. It will most surely come to pass.

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