When You Want to Run Away

The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away … ” she replied. – Genesis 16:8 NLT

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Have you ever wanted to run away as an adult?

I recently saw a quote that said, “I don’t know about you but I’ve thought about running away more often as an adult then when I was a kid.”

So true.

At times, my adult self has stood with the front door wide open wondering how dangerous would it really be to step over the threshold and keep on going.

You get so tired fighting the good fight. Of slogging uphill with your mustard seed of faith dragging behind you like some kind of lead ball and chain.

The walls surrounding your door seem to suffocate you with every ounce of conflict, fear, bitterness and loneliness they contain. You want nothing more than to slip out and slip away.

But the truth is, we were never meant to walk on the outside of our life, but rather to stand in the midst of it.

When things get tough, we tend to think movement is the answer. We try to change ourselves – or others. We start new habits, think new thoughts, take new actions to get rid of the stinking pain. And sometimes we want to move all the way around to the outside of our life. To get as far away as possible from what’s hard.

We want to take our marriage, our kids, our fears and our burdens and leave them on the doorstep, shut the door and walk away.

And you know what?

Somehow – almost without thinking, we believe walking away will get us a better life – a better version with a new upgrade smell. Why? Because we’ll make better choices, of course. We’ll find better people, do better things, and it’ll be easier to live with a better faith.

But let me ask a question …

If we don’t want what God is working into our current life, how can we want what he works into the next?

See, running away says, “God, you made a mistake here. I’m certain this isn’t the life you intended for me, so I’m going to leave it right here on the front porch. You’re big, so I know the person you really had in mind will come along and take over here. In the meantime, how about you and I get started on a new life far from this mess?”

But before we lace up our running shoes, I think there are two questions we should ask.

They’re found in Genesis 16:8. An Egyptian servant named Hagar has run away from the home of Abram and Sarai. Life had become fierce and bitter between Sarai and Hagar. Pride and jealousy, on both their parts, destroyed whatever peace they may have once had.

While on the run, Hagar stops to rest by a spring of water in the wilderness and an angel comes to her. The angel said, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8)

Where have you come from, and where are you going?

In other words:

“Hagar (let’s put our name here), have you forgotten where you’ve been placed and to whom you were chosen? Have you forgotten the grace added to you, or the blessings and protection given to you there? Sure, it hasn’t been easy and you have much need for endurance, but where are you going? Out here lies a wilderness beyond of the will of God. Slippery snares and dangers lie in wait as you wander for something more.”

Friend, where have you come from, and where are you going?

Two small, but essential questions. One asks us to remember God’s goodness within our present struggles, and the other asks us to consider what struggles may come outside of God’s goodness.

When have you felt the need to run away? How have you grown by staying where God has put you?

3 Replies

  1. Devery Wright

    As a kid, my most prominent dream was evil chasing me, and me running like the wind, just barely escaping, and when prompted to look at my life, as a whole, I think it mirrors my childhood nightmares. As strong as I would like to think I am, I tend to bolt, after much unsuccessful battle rather than staying to fight, with equipment lacking, or training missing, so there is wisdom in flight, to rest, and let God download what will help me to stand and fight another day. Medal of honor, maybe not, but alive to tell about it. One day, the honors, maybe. I’m counting on Jesus for that.

  2. Lori perez

    Amen sister. Boy have I wanted to run away plenty of times. But seeing these words and putting things in that perspective it is alot different. Thanks for opening my eyes. God bless you.

    1. Raye Wortel

      You’re very welcome!

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