There is a Yorùbá adage which says “ohun ti a nwa lo si Sokoto waa l’abe sokoto “. This adage simply means “what we are travelling to Sokoto (a northern city in Nigeria) to get is inside the pocket of our trousers”. Quoted by my Pastor to further emphasise his teaching which he titled ‘there is water in the desert’ on ‘Hagar and her son’ (Genesis 21:14-19).
See, Sarah, Abraham’s wife had a maid named Hagar, who bore Abraham a son with Sarah’s permission of course. One day, Sarah saw Hagar’s son, Ishmael poking fun at her son Isaac and asked Abraham to send Hagar and her son away; in which he did even though it brought him great pain to do so but God spoke to Abraham about it and pretty much told him ‘I’ve got your son, Ishmael’. (Genesis 21:9-13). Morning comes, Abraham packs a to go bag for Hagar and Ishmael and sends them on their not so merry way.
In their nomadic journey into the desert of Beersheba, they ran out water and Hagar left her son, Ishmael under a tree. Crying, she said ‘I cannot beat to watch my son die’ as she walks out. God through his angel graciously reaches out to her and asked her ‘What’s wrong?’
**at this point of the sermon, in my head while giving God the side eye like ‘You know why she crying’**
Anyways God’s angel then said to her ‘God has heard the BOY crying, and knows the FIX he’s in. Get up; go get the BOY. Hold him tight. I’m going to make of him a great nation’. (Genesis 21:17-18). God then opens her eyes to see a well of water. She filled her container with water and gave Ishmael a long cool drink.
**In that moment, my pastor said something so profound. He said ‘the well of water was probably there all along but she was blind to it. She could only see the problem in front of her which was ‘they ran out of water’ among many other things. She had given up and saw no way out for them and proceeded to thinking of DEATH! She did not realise that the answer she should have been looking for was closer to her than she thought’. The fact that she was crying but scriptures says God heard Ishmael’s crying and reached out to Hagar’. Therefore, Ishmael was her answer!
Honestly before this sermon, I also have been searching for answers. Feeling rather lost in the sauce, I thought I’d ask the big man upstairs for some direction and guidance. Also during my devotional, I embarked on reading through the book of Daniel.
Later that Sunday evening, surfing through YouTube as you do, I noticed that the ‘Elevation Church’ Sunday service was going on and I being a fan of Pastor Stephen clicked to hear what the sermon was about. I noticed he was preaching on a new series titled ‘Seven Mile Miracle’ which sounded interesting and being taught in anticipation of Jesus’s death and resurrection (Easter).
He explored the story of two individuals. One named Cleopas, and the other; unnamed. Walking to the village of Emmaus which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were in deep conversation about recent events of Jesus’s crucifixion. In the middle of their conversation, Jesus pops up and walks alongside them. Unable to recognise who he was, they pretty much had a conversation with Jesus about Jesus. (Luke 24:13-18)
**‘Can you imagine they told Jesus about Jesus’. I just think that is hilarious **
Jesus proceeded to asking them ‘Oh so what happened?’ and they continued to giving Jesus the lowdown about himself. They said ‘Jesus was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. He was sentenced and crucified to death. They had hopes that he was the One; the Messiah who would deliver Israel. (in that moment, the penny dropped for me). Continuing, they said it was now the third day the One, the messiah should have been walking ‘these streets’ but the only things happening was confusion from some of the women who said that they had seen a vision of angels who proclaimed Jesus was alive and others even went to check and found the tomb empty. (Luke 24:19-24).
Jesus then schooled Cleopas and his companion. Starting with the book of Moses, and went through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him. They still didn’t see it. Finally, grazing the edge of Emmaus, they invited Jesus to come in and break bread with them; which he did. He sat down to eat with them, blessed the bread and gave them to eat. (Luke 24:25-31).
**IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT THEY REALISED THEY MESSED UP! THEY REALISE WHO THE ANSWER IS AND HAS BEEN **
They realised that the man they so kindly invited in was Jesus. The ‘answer’ they have been hoping for all this while. The answer they were searching for in life ‘the messiah who would come and rescue God’s special people’ was indeed Jesus. The man who is dynamic in works and word.
** I believe these two like many others search for answers one way and because we are so blinded like Hagar, to see or not see what is in front of us **
They like you and I are going to the ends of the earth, searching for answers that are literally inside our pockets, answers that is walking alongside us to our purposeful destinations, answers that can already be found in the Word of God.
It was in my penny dropping moment, I realised I didn’t need to go searching for the answers I already had. The answers I was in pursuit of was all along in the word of God I had been reading.
**Once again, I was blown away by the message, especially because I had the same mind as Cleopas and Cleopas’s travelling friend. I was Hagar, who didn’t realise that the answer I was searching for was closer to me than I thought’ and was so adamant on receiving my answers a certain way. **