I remember reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl several years ago. In it he shared some of his experiences in one of the death camps during the Holocaust. At the core of what he was saying was the idea that most of those who survived the camps were people who had a purpose or reason to live. They had something—or someone—to come back to or live for.
I think of our all too human need to attain some significance in this life and the great longing to know that we matter—that we are seen and our lives are not in vain.
And then I consider Hagar. She was not the classically chosen mother of the promise God gave Abraham. She was the woman Sarah put in the arms of her husband Abraham out of fear and doubt that God might not fulfill His promise to give Abraham an heir that would actually come from
“You are the God who sees me.”
Sarah’s womb. And even in that reckless choice of Sarah’s, God was gracious to Hagar and brought Abraham his son, Ishmael. When I first learned this story in full, after coming to faith, the conclusion I drew from it was that Sarah became impatient and tried to fulfill God’s promise on her own in a cultural context.