‘Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.’  Genesis 16: 1-2


It reads like a daytime TV drama – jealousy, betrayal, heartbreak. Abraham, the father of our faith, plays the lead in this story and the messy consequences that unfold. But, lets back up.

At the age of 75, Abraham obeys God’s call on his life. God promises to bless him and others through him, bringing about a great nation from Abraham’s lineage. Ten years pass and Sarah, Abraham’s wife, remains barren. No child, no heir. Frustrated, they take matters into their own hands. Sarah offers her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham to conceive a child. Abraham agrees and soon Hagar becomes pregnant.  Everything seems to be working out great except for one thing -this wasn’t God’s plan.  And pretty soon, not trusting the Word of God catches up with them. Jealousy and insecurity overwhelms Sarah.  Anger burns in Sarah towards Hagar until in desperation Hagar runs away.

Can there be any resolution to such a mess?  In the midst of it all, God demonstrates incredible grace and mercy. God meets Hagar, a victim in this situation, on the desert road when she runs away.  He speaks into her hopelessness. “Don’t lose heart,” He says. At her lowest point, He confronts her and promises to bless her. But that’s not all. God even extends His grace to Abraham and Sarah in spite of their sin. God eventually fulfills His promise of a son. Not because they deserve it, but because God’s plan is greater than their sin. In the same way, God offers us His grace through Christ’s death on the cross when life seems hopeless –when we really mess up.

Are you willing to accept the forgiveness, the grace and the love of God? No matter what’s happened in your story, don’t give up. Jesus is always bigger than our hurt and our sin. Hagar believed it. Abraham believed it.  But will you believe it?