Have you ever had that momentary freak out when your stationary car starts to roll backwards into the car behind you? Your frantic stabbing at the brakes don’t seem to stop the momentum and you brace for impact.
But then in a moment of revelation, relief floods in the second you realise that it wasn’t you that was rolling backwards, but the car next to you that was moving forwards that gave the illusion that you were going the wrong way.
There are many times in life that God calls us to move in a direction that appears to take us backwards, that in end the takes us forwards. It may feel like the wrong direction, but in the end it is the God given path that takes us into the future He has prepared for us.
Haggai was one woman who had to move backwards in order to move forwards into all that God had for her. Due to a breakdown in relationship, she ran from her master, Sarai. As she fled, God sent an angel to give her a message:
‘The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count” – Genesis 16:8-10 (NLT)
Haggai was faced with a great decision. Either she keeps moving forward, or she follows the voice of God and turns around to return to the very place she sought to escape from.
In that moment, Haghai knew that God understood her, referring to Him as “the God who sees me” (16:13). She trusted that God had her best interests at heart. It wasn’t that He wanted Haggia to suffer for sufferings sake, but that He saw beyond the immediate, and that the temporary steps backward would be the key that ultimately took her forwards.
There are times that God will call us backwards to take us forwards. God sees. He understands. But when you submit to the voice of God (and not the opinions of man), God will open up a future beyond anything you could imagine!