Have you ever found yourself in a desperate situation? Do you know what it feels like to have the odds stacked against you? Have you tried everything to overcome hardship only to end up exhausted and hopeless?
There are times in life when every road seems to lead to a dead end. No matter how hard we look, we cannot see a way out. The experience can be terrifying, painful and lonely. But often, it is when we are at our most helpless that God is able to do His best work.
A Supernatural Lesson in “Seeing”
The Old Testament tells the story of Abraham’s servant girl, Hagar, and her young son, Ishmael. For complex reasons, they were rejected from the safety of their tribe and cast out into the scorching Beersheba desert in southern Israel. Within two days their food and water had run out and they knew they were doomed. Nobody would be coming to their rescue, and even worse, they were sure nobody cared. Broken, dejected and hopeless, they both collapsed in bitter tears and prepared for the inevitable.
But, Genesis 21:19 says that “God heard the boy crying and calling out to Hagar, He “opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” (NIV)
This is truly remarkable! Hagar and Ishmael had wandered for two days without ever seeing this well. Had it always been there but they were too grieved to notice, or did God suddenly and supernaturally make it appear? The Bible doesn’t tell us. All we know is that Hagar “went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” It’s clear that the Lord had been watching over them the whole time, ready to intervene at the just the right moment.
Not only did Hagar and her son survive, they, in fact, went on to flourish in that desert, and Ishmael grew to become the father of the Arab nations.
The key here is that “God opened her eyes.” Only then was Hagar able to “see” the solution to her dire circumstances, a solution that had either not been there before or that she’d been blind to. Either way, she needed the Lord to help her “see” it.
Oftentimes, when we are consumed with trying to solve life’s problems our way in our own strength, we neglect to see what God is doing. He may, at times, put us in impossible circumstances that we cannot solve so that we finally surrender and admit our desperate need of His grace, guidance and provision.
God’s Invisible Army
On another occasion, in 2 Kings 6:15, the prophet Elisha had angered the enemies of Israel and the king of Aram sent his army to surround the holy man’s campsite during the night. When Elisha’s servant awoke and saw the ambush, he cried out to his master in panic. But the prophet calmly prayed, “’Open his eyes, Lord, that he may see.’ Then, the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (NIV)
Not only did the prophet and his servant survive, but Elisha shrewdly turned Israel’s enemies into peaceful allies. He was a man of faith who knew that God and the heavenly host were always with Him, ready to rescue and protect at all times.
Our Personal Wilderness
In 2012, when my husband was diagnosed with deadly bladder cancer, well known urologists said he was doomed and that not even chemotherapy and radiation would help. We felt terrified, desperate and hopeless. We could “see” no solution. But, in answer to our prayers, God led us to a strategic conversation here, a phone call there, several promises from Scripture, and slowly He “opened our eyes” to a way we never knew existed before. Step by step, we discovered the wonderful world of integrative medicine and by following this path not only did my husband survive, he was completely healed in less than a year. And, he remains cancer free to this day!
If you have never heard our complete story, you can read all about in our book “Healed, Healthy and Whole, How We Beat Cancer with Integrative Therapies and Essential Healing Strategies.”
Watch In Faith
Today, are you in a situation where you can’t “see” a way out? Do your circumstances look hopeless? Do you feel you’ve tried everything without success? Are you at the end of yourself? Call out to God and ask Him to “open your eyes” to the solution He has already prepared for you. It might be instantaneous or step-by-step but it will be a personal path just for you. Watch in faith how your your situation turns completely around in your favor. When it happens, shout it from the rooftops! Then share it with others who need this encouragement and point them to God so they, too, may “see”!