As Anne Graham Lotz begins Chapter 3 (“The Cycle of Pain: The Wounded Become Wounders”) of Wounded by God’s People, she comments that Abraham’s wife Sarah was a woman in pain. In turn, Sarah’s woundedness led her to wound others, especially Hagar.
Hagar’s wounding happened because at some point Sarah came up with an ingenious-or so she thought- solution to guaranteeing that God’s promise of a son to Abraham would be fulfilled. What was good enough for Sarah’s Canaanite neighbors was good enough for her: use a servant to have a child you’re unable to have!
Anne notes that neither Abraham nor Sarah consulted God. Going outside of God’s principles never is the solution to a problem. Our sin impacts others. As the author notes, we never sin unto ourselves. Hurting people hurt people:
“Wounding, at best, only temporarily releases pain, It may feel good for a few moments, hours, or days, but then it actually magnifies and perpetuates the pain.”
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, provides the God-honoring alternative. Hannah prayed. Her cycle of pain stopped when she chose prayer over retaliation against her husband Elkanah’s first wife, Peninnah. And Hannah continued praying until she felt God’s confirmation of that prayer. Hannah was blessed beyond measure.
Today’s question: How, through God’s help, have you been successful in breaking the cycle of pain? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Believers in exile”