Before cell phones were invented, if I was lost I’d stop at the nearest gas station to get directions. If the individual behind the counter seemed just as directionally challenged as me, I’d ask someone outside while I was pumping my gas. Now that GPS is built into every cell phone, arriving at your desired destination is much easier today. However, just because you get where want want to go doesn’t mean that this is where God wants you at this location.
But [a]the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness on the road to Shur. 8 And He said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where did you come from, and where are you intending to go? And she said, I am running away from my mistress Sarai, Genesis 16:7-8.
The context of the passage above began with Sarai’s desperate attempt to grant her husband Abram a child. However, after giving her husband permission to sleep with her maidservant Hagar, she regrets this irrational decision. Subsequently, when Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child, Sarai took all of her frustrations as a barren woman out on Hagar. When Hagar couldn’t bear Sarai’s mistreatment anymore, she ran away into the wilderness where an angel of the Lord finds her.
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go. 19 He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me! – John 21:18-19
While Hagar wanted to take the easy way out, God had a different plan, Proverbs 19:21. Just like Hagar who returned to Sarai until Ishmael was born, Peter’s life also takes a detour following his public denial of knowing Jesus. Spiritually maturity takes time and can be awfully painful, especially from a humility standpoint. Nonetheless, as you make your plans for your next intended destination, look to God for guidance, Galatians 5:25, so you eventually end up in the place God wants you to be.
by Jay Mankus