Life at the Crossroads


 (Genesis 16:8)


Where have you come from and where are you going?

The question came to Hagar at the pinnacle of a crucial decision. She was torn between allegiance to her mistress, Sarai (known as Sarah later in the story), and the innate desire to be free to raise the baby now growing inside of her. As with most questions one faces when standing at one of life’s many crossroads, it haunted her.

Where had she come from? Where was she going? It was painful for Hagar to reflect on her past, much less attempt to see through the gauze of an uncertain future, but the angel’s question pierced her soul with its persistence.

Where have I come from . . . ? Hagar thought to herself as she contemplated the events over the past few months. She concluded that she’d come from a place no woman should have to be.

I’ve come from the grasp of a woman who hates me. I’ve come from the burden of carrying a baby whose father loves someone else. I’ve come from a terrifying place of confusion, isolation and abandonment. That’s where I have come from.

But that was only half of the equation. “ . . . And where are you going?”

This question was even more painful than the previous one. She knew from where she’d come, but she had no idea where she was going. In fact, she was wandering the desert, considering her options at that very moment.

Could she make it? Would she die? As if the Lord’s angel had traced her thoughts, he cut through her myriad of optional scenarios with a command. “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”

In truth, it was the last thing she felt like doing at the moment. Go back? Had she heard the angel’s message clearly? Surely there was a misunderstanding.

However, there was no misunderstanding. The crossroads pointed to a path she did not want to take—had not planned to take. God had spoken, and Hagar must obey. She peered down the road that represented her future, but it looked suspiciously like the road that led to a painful past.


Dear God, please help me accept your will for me even if it’s not what I had planned for myself.

Taken from NIV Women’s Devotional Bible

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