The book of Genesis in the bible has been a favourite of mine since first learning to read the Bible. It is filled with amazing and wonderful stories about God and his people.
It is where I first understood how our world began. It is where I heard story after story about the wonders of God the creator.
“In the beginning…” were words of comfort for me.
Origin stories are important, aren’t they? We all want to hear about how our parents met, how we were born, the first house we lived in, the way our family came to be, right?
That is why we keep baby books and scrapbooks. So we never forget our genesis.
There is somewhat of a glimpse into where we might be going when we know where we have been.
In fact, in the book of Genesis there is a story of woman named Hagar.
One might speculate that her origin story would be a messy one. We meet her in her young adulthood, finding her to be a foreign slave in a home of wanderers. We can only guess at her childhood, her family of origin and her ancestry.
Her story intertwines with that of Jesus. Not because she existed across the same decades as him, but because she becomes a part of his family of origin. No, not by blood, but by birth. She is mandated to step in, carry and give birth to a promise. She is forced to get pregnant by her master, Sarai’s husband because Sarai cannot get pregnant herself. Long story short (you can read in Genesis 16), she is treated poorly because she gets pregnant. This causes her to run away.
Young, pregnant and alone in the desert, she finds herself in a world of fear.
An angel of the Lord appears to her and asks her the best “Genesis” question.
“Where have you come from and where are you going?”
This is a question that resonated with me over ten years ago when we first moved here to Leduc. I knew no one, my faith was young and I had no clue what God had in mind for me with this new journey.
I decided to let God answer the “Where are you going?” part and stepped in to follow him wholeheartedly.
It was a genesis of sorts. Like Hagar in this story, I found myself in a desert but with a beautiful well to draw from. I began to dig in and learn so many amazing and wonderful things about Jesus and his Church (His Body). God put me in this lovely place where my faith could grow and I could be nurtured in my young mind, immature knowledge and understanding.
In the story, Hagar was sent back to her “family” to be taken care of as her belly swelled with a baby and then as her young son grew into a young man.
When Hagar’s son Ishmael was approximately 14, (an adult in that culture) her master Sarah (now renamed, lots of things had changed!) and her husband were finally experiencing the fruit of the promise of God. Sarah was now pregnant with a baby boy. Pregnant with the promise given all those years ago. Something phenomenal and supernatural was happening, but it created a space where Hagar and her son no longer felt like they fit or belonged. Her son was no longer the “ideal” situation and in fact just made things downright complicated.
Abraham, the patriarch, loaded them up with water and food and sent them on their way. Exiled from the family.
Hagar was once again discarded, pushed into the unknown and feeling forgotten. Ready to die in the desert.
God showed up again and encouraged her. Great nations will come from her and her son. He opened her eyes and shows her a beautiful new well to draw from that she couldn’t see before. She and her son will thrive. Only now, they are no longer slaves. They are free.
It was her REGENESIS.
In this season, I find myself back in that desert place I felt all those years ago. Alone, and unsure of what is next.
Facing my own REGENESIS.
Where have I come from?
Where am I going?
What will be the NEW THING Jesus will do for me and my family?
I am being sent out.
I just don’t know exactly where yet.
I know I am filled with good things from the place I have come from.
I know that I am called to where I am going.
I know that all throughout scripture I see the wisdom of people going out into the desert. Spending time alone with Jesus, examining their hearts, souls and strengths. To quietly and personally decide what is next.
This is where I currently am.
So, where have I come from?
My genesis is in the church. In a safe place where I was loved and nurtured and allowed to find my truth.
Where am I going?
To my regenesis.
To my remaking.
To a place of redefining my faith, who Jesus is and how I want to be his ambassador in this world.
To places that are dry, arid and void of the water of life.
To bring the deep well of love that has been given to me into the places that are desperate for a refreshing drink of living water.
To be his hands and feet to those who may have given up, who are lonely and might feel like there is no hope.
To those who feel rejected, left out and forgotten.
To those who might not fit the ideal. Who might still be slaves or lost or wandering?
Because Jesus came to fulfill the promise given to Abraham, Isaac and David.
But he also came to fulfill the promise to Hagar and Ishmael.
To the Samaritan woman at the well, to the woman caught in adultery, or to the Ethiopian eunuch.
All people who shouldn’t have been “cherished” or “chosen” by Jesus, but who were.
And I want to be a part of that kind of commissioning.
“The one whose idea you are to begin with, designed you to radiate his image and likeness; he is the true pattern of your beingness! So, be who you are in realizing the exact detail of your genesis! You are whole and in perfect harmony; seemingly one with him!”
1 Peter 1:15 The Mirror Bible