Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
Speaking at: Church of Our Redeemer AME Church
809 Upshur Street, Washington, DC
Sunday, April 10 2011
Genesis 21: 9-19 9-10 One day Sarah saw the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, poking fun at her son Isaac. She told Abraham, “Get rid of this slave woman and her son. No child of this slave is going to share inheritance with my son Isaac!” 11-13 The matter gave great pain to Abraham—after all, Ishmael was his son. But God spoke to Abraham, “Don’t feel badly about the boy and your maid. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your descendants will come through Isaac. Regarding your maid’s son, be assured that I’ll also develop a great nation from him—he’s your son, too.” 14-16 Abraham got up early the next morning, got some food together and a canteen of water for Hagar, put them on her back and sent her away with the child. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she left the child under a shrub and went off, fifty yards or so. She said, “I can’t watch my son die.” As she sat, she broke into sobs. 17-18 Meanwhile, God heard the boy crying. The angel of God called from Heaven to Hagar, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy and knows the fix he’s in. Up now; go get the boy. Hold him tight. I’m going to make of him a great nation.” 19 Just then God opened her eyes. She looked. She saw a well of water. She went to it and filled her canteen and gave the boy a long, cool drink. – The Message Bible Translation
I’d like to speak from the theme: “Survival Techniques When Your Well Runs Dry.”
In the scripture, Abraham and Sarah agreed that Hagar would bear them a son. In doing do, Abraham and Sarah ran ahead of God, trying to fulfill God’s promise on their own. As the mother of Abraham’s only child, Hagar enjoyed the privileges of drinking from a rich and deep well. Hagar went from being a slave girl to living a life of privilege. Her well ran rich and deep, and she began to look down on Sarah, the very one who gave her the blessing. She thought she was better and more worthy than Sarah because she had born Abraham a son.
When your water is running deep, be mindful of how you treat those around you. God has a unique way of letting time and behavior catch up with you. My mother used to say: “Be careful how you treat people, because you never know who you’ll have to look to for a drink of water.”
The discord between Sarah and her husband came to a head when Sarah bore Abraham a son and Hagar’s son Ishmael started to make fun of Sarah’s and Abraham’s son, Isaac. Abraham tried to keep the peace, but his wife said “she’s gotta go.”
Hagar was taken out into the wilderness with her son, with just the clothes on her back, and a little water in a canteen. Hagar’s well had run dry. She was homeless, unemployed, abandoned, a single parent, hungry, and thirsty. The scripture provides three salient points on what to do when your well runs dry.
1. When your well runs dry, allow angels of God to be a blessing in your life. In the scripture, the Lord heard the cries of a young boy, and He sent an angel to Hagar. When we find ourselves in the worst of situations, God has a way of putting people in your life to help you. When you find yourself destitute, when your so-called friends won’t show up, God puts angels and people in your life who will minister to you. God brings us down so he can use us. He allows us to become humble enough to say “Thank you Lord”.
This was not the first time Hagar’s well had run dry. Life was hard; her cup was bitter. When your well runs dry, be open to God providing angels to minister to you, by sending people to bless you.
2. When your well runs dry, know how to cry unto the Lord, and God will answer when you call on Him. As the hymn goes: “Father, I stretch my hand to thee, whence cometh my help.” When your well runs dry, you don’t call out to the Lord with dainty little prayers. When you reach a hard place in your life, when you’ve lost a loved one, you learn how to cry to God from the depths of your soul. That’s the kind of prayer that will break through.
3. When your well runs dry, believe in the possibility of miracles. In the scripture, God has heard the boy crying. Verse 19 says: “Just when God opened her eyes, she saw a well of water.” The well wasn’t there the first time she opened her eyes. But God said, “Go back, grab the boy, hold him tight, and wait.” God may not come when you want, and He may not come the way you want Him to come, but God knows how to bless you, and if you hold on long enough, the Lord will make a way somehow!
- Sermon Notes: Unable to See as God Sees
- Sermon Notes: When You Need to Hear a Good Word
- Sermon Notes: Living Above Transition and Change
- Sermon Notes: Live a Grateful Life
- Sermon Notes: When God Singles You Out
Tags: Rev. Ronald E. Braxton