This quote I read last night leads me to three things I’m thankful for today:
Maybe part of the reason we have such a hard time with no is that we aren’t still long enough to discover the yes. Think about it. This would be a great exercise on a personal retreat. Ask yourself, “What is the higher Yes in my life that will become the filter through which I make decisions?” Write it down and declare it to those around you.
So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for:
- Higher Yeses – These come from God’s purpose for our lives. Living in them brings him glory.
- Uniqueness – We all have unique higher yeses, also from God. Accepting and owning ours and encouraging others to do the same brings him glory.
- Being Seen and Heard – I’m often reminded that God sees and hears us through Hagar and Ishmael’s story in Genesis 16. In our decision making, in our stillness, in our wandering, in our pain, in our blessing-in all of life, his seeing and hearing us reveals his glory.
May his glory be known by our choosing higher yeses, owning our uniqueness, and pursuing being seen and heard by him.
Some people find it hard to believe that God pays attention to mankind’s affairs. It seems to them that, if he did create what we see, he abandoned us long ago and left us to figure things out on our own. Every time I read Genesis 16 I see evidence that this view of God isn’t accurate.
This chapter tells the story of Hagar. Hagar was Egyptian. She was also a slave to Sarai, Abram’s wife. They used her to force God’s hand. They decided she would be the avenue of starting their family. This was her plight. When she couldn’t handle it anymore, she fled. And who could blame her.
In her flight, God found her. And that’s when her life started over. She went from feeling alone, abused, and abandoned by humans to receiving warmth, joy, release, acceptance and love from God. She described him as “the God who sees.” She believed she had seen Him who saw her. She chose to follow His direction and gave birth to a son she named Ishmael, which means “God hears.”
Hagar’s life testifies that God…
- …sees our enslavement
- …understands our contempt
- …listens to our hurts
- …reveals Himself and His plan
If you’re feeling unseen and unheard, read Hagar’s story. May you see and hear the God who sees and hears.