Hagar carefully hid her son under a bush, and sat down and wept her heart out because there was no food or water left to keep him alive.
And some people don't think the Bible is relevant to life today. If only that were true in this case. But as the current Monitor series on hunger points out, tens of thousands of Hagars are still weeping.
This senseless suffering should rouse us, because despite the droughts and number of people involved, international aid experts say that there is more than enough food available to feed everyone. And despite the logistical problems, it's not inconceivable that these people could be reached, quickly in fact.
There is a familiar proverb: Where there's a will, there's a way. In this case that is certainly true, and we can pray that this series helps energize that will. The determination to help should be strong enough to break through the walls of politics, greed, strife, corruption, inhumanity, and to provide food to those who desperately need it. Many people feel there are enough tested programs that, given adequate support, would help these people become self-sufficient again.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
I like to think that this statement is built on the fact that where there is a divine will, there is a way. Hagar had given up. Totally. But there was a divine will in operation. God had told Abraham, the boy's father, that He would be with that child. God, who is the giver of life, the force of life, the sustainer of life, was with Hagar and her son. Hagar's grief and desperation blinded her and caused her to forget this life-providing power. But God was greater than her grief, and even in her bleak despair, she was able to feel the Fathering and Mothering of God.
There was a well nearby, and the great love of God was able to rouse her, reach her, and lead her to it. Her son lived. She lived. They made it through this crisis (see Gen. 21:12-20).
There was a well. There was a resource, a provision. We are tempted so many times to think that there is no hope. We give up. We go to the well, but now it has run dry.
Let's think about this again. Where there is a will, a divine will, there is a way. Jesus prayed: "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). The acknowledgment of God's supreme power and authority in our life is a step that fills those wells. Would God's will being done in earth rescue Hagar's son, Ishmael, but not save others in equal need?
A good human parent wouldn't favor one child over another. How could we possibly ascribe such callousness to God? This wasn't a once-in-a-millennium miracle. It was evidence of God's will being done. It was evidence of the availability of God's will to all on earth.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this paper, gave particular emphasis to the universal, all-inclusive love of God in her many works.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she wrote: "In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as 'a very present help in trouble.' Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters' " (pgs. 12-13).
God's will being done in earth embraces all - all peoples, nations, races, genders, ages. No one is left out. To become conscious of God, of God's presence with us, is to awaken to divine will working within us. It is a life-giving, life-providing, life-sustaining power.
Where there is a divine will, there is a way. There is a way of life, a way of progress, a way of deliverance from destitution. Is life in the grip of poverty, hunger, civil war, drought? Or is it in the grasp of divine, ever-present Love? The photographs of hunger may make our hearts ache in doubt. Instead, they should stir us to pray vehemently, "Thy will be done." For there is no question that where there is a will, there is a way out of this needless suffering.