You are the God who sees me.
With big smiles and bear hugs we enthusiastically greet each other every Sunday.
Hello, sister! How are you?
But something about her response this time was different.
“I’m hanging in there,” she said with a half-smile.
Now, I happen to know from personal experience that hanging in there is code for:
- If only you knew,
- Jesus take the wheel!, or
- Help! I need a life-line.
None of which are good.
So, I quickly offered up a few words of encouragement – and within a nano-second, my dear sister in Christ was fighting back her tears.
It’s not like she could tell me specifics or anything, but I didn’t need her to – her eyes said it all as they widened and the tears formed.
Her eyes whispered . . .
– I’m in so much pain.
– It hurts so bad.
– I’m dying inside.
You see, I know that look all-too-well – it’s the same one I saw starring back at me in the mirror when I experienced my own family crisis not that long ago – the one that I was certain would be my undoing. (Had me writing posts about if walls could talk. Girl, I was a hot mess!)
I could feel my sweet sisters pain in every tearful pause and in every unspoken word because, I had been there; and it takes one to know one.
But I’m not the only one who knows: There is another who knows; another who sees.
Where my knowledge is finite, His is infinite.
Where my sight is limited, His is unlimited.
Sometimes the circumstance causing our pain is epic.
Perhaps we have suffered a miscarriage, or we have a child on drugs, in jail, or one that has died from an overdose. Maybe a husband has just confessed to infidelity or we’ve been served divorce papers.
But even if the genesis of our pain is less earth shattering, pain is still pain, and its effects can be emotionally crippling and spiritually debilitating if left unchecked.
The Bible tells us that Hagar’s home life was at DEFCON 1, too.
Genesis 16 tells us that when Sarai, who was barren, got the not-so-bright idea to have children through her slave, she “gave” Hagar to her husband (Abram) to have children for her; but when Hagar conceived she began to despise Sarai.
When Sarai complained to Abram about Hagar’s new-found naughty attitude, Abram gave Sarai permission to do as she pleased with Hagar.
Long story short, Hagar – who was now pregnant, unloved, mistreated by her mistress, and without any protections – ended up running for her life!
Can you imagine how bad things much have been for Hagar? I can only imagine how bad Sarai’s treatment of her must have been if she thought running away into the desert was a better option. We need to read between the lines there. Things were far from good for her.
Shortly thereafter, “The Angel of the Lord” caught-up with Hagar near a spring in the desert:
“Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” (v.8)
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. (v.8)
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” (v.9)
And here we have Hagar’s beautiful revelation:
“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (v.13)
Even if we are experiencing the worst family crisis of our life, we have this assurance . . .
No matter how lonely we feel, no matter how dire our familial circumstances, God “sees” us and He knows exactly what we are going through.
He is a God who is “intimately acquainted” with all of our ways. (Psalm 139:9)
He seeks us out: Just as He pursued Hagar and comforted her in her time of distress, He “sees” us, and He stands ready to wrap His loving arms around us, if we’d only turn to him.
He sees our weary heart and He feels our pain.
We are not alone.
That is what I wanted my sweet sister in Christ to know.
No, I couldn’t make her situation disappear. I couldn’t take away her pain. I couldn’t stop the storm clouds (God’s appointed trial?) from swirling around her; but I wanted her to know that even while she is “hanging on,” our God, He “sees” her.
And to be seen by God is a powerful thing.
♥ A Home Builder’s Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you “see” me no matter where I am. Thank you for pursuing me when I am lost. Thank you for finding me and giving me comfort through your Word and your precious Holy Spirit. Increase my faith and help me to believe that my deliverance draweth nigh.
What comfort can you take in knowing that God offers hope and wisdom from his Word to comfort you in your time of distress?
Come and check out where I party!
Wow! This year has kept me “just hanging in there,” but I’m so thankful I serve a God who sees me AND pursues me when life causes me to feel like running away is a better option! Thank you for sharing this message from God 🙂
Hey Kelsey, I am so thankful that God pursues us, too! Thank you for stopping by.
Aimee Imbeau says
Thanks for your post, Tiffiney. I love Hagar’s story. I spoke volumes to me in the early years of my healing. I have chosen to feature your post on Grace & Truth this week. Please pop by tomorrow and get the “I Was Featured” button.
Hey there, Aimee! There is something about this story that is resonating with scores of women. I’ve known of Hagar – but not really in a relatable way, that is, until now. It was the Lord who gave me this message – but I see it’s not a new message – just one that women need to be reminded of from time to time; and I pray that this reminder will be timely for many women. Thank you for featuring it on tomorrow’s linkup. I’ll be there with bells on!
He sees me. All of me. AND He still loves me! what joy and comfort that is to this messy heart of mine! Blessings!
I can Amen that all day, Liz! How unbelievable that He loves messy, sinful me?! Thanks for stopping by. You’re always welcome here.
Tiffany, I love your post because El Roi God who sees me is one of my favorite names of God .
I actually even wrote a post on it 4 days ago. I pray you will visit me and be blessed as well.
I love serving this God who saw me and continues to see me in this wilderness
Can’t wait to stop by your place and read your article, Diana!
How privileged we are that God notices us, cares for us and holds our future in his hands. And how reassuring to know that this never changes even when we mess up. The story of Hagar showcases the gracious mercy of God.
Thank you for sharing.
I popped over from the Grace and Truth link up.
Indeed, what wonderful mercy that is! So glad that you popped over, Carol. Please stop by again!
Pam Richardson says
Tiffiney, this is a post I plan to send to some who I know are hurting and in pain. It is always a comfort to know that God see! So inspirational to read this morning! Blessings~
Hi Pam, I’m thrilled to hear you are sharing this to encourage your friend. That’s exactly why I wrote this post – to encourage my dear sister in Christ. Let’s keep the sharing going! Have a blessed day!
Cheryl gerou says
The story of Hagar is a favorite story of mine, the Lord has used it to impact my heart in deep ways. I often need to know that He sees me especially when I feel alone, misunderstood, and invisible. Thank you for sharing this great reminder of our ever-present Lord. Sweet Blessings to you!
You know, Cheryl, I’m just beginning to vibe with Hagar’s story. I guess I’m late to the party? 🙂 But there is much we can learn from her life. Thank God for these Biblical reminders that we are not alone, and even we we feel invisible to others – He still sees us, and we are known by Him. Thanks for stopping by.
Sarah- Inkblots of Hope says
I’m glad to see you covering the story of Hagar, Tiffiney, as I’ve always found her story to be an interesting one. It’s amazing to me to think that God revealed himself by the name El Roi, the God who sees FIRST to Hagar, an inconspicuous slave woman. That’s pretty amazing to think given that she made a pretty big misstep. And yes, as you mentioned it’s so good to remember God as the one who sees in our hurts. Even when it feels like he’s absent, he is still there seeing us through our days of good and our days of gloom. Thanks for your words, Tiffiney!
Hey Sarah, I so agree with you – Hagar’s story is an interesting one. Through writing this post I’ve discovered more about her life, and have identified with her pain more than ever before. And look at how good our God is – redeeming our mess even when we’ve “put our foot in it”! Thanks for stopping by.
Michele Morin says
Our hearts long to be seen and known, but we fear the intimacy and the risk. So wonderful to be reminded by words of hope from Scripture that we always have God’s attention.
Well put, Michele – there’s that longing in our hearts to be “seen” and “known”. Thankfully, there is One who sees all and knows all. Thanks for stopping by! Always a pleasure having you, friend.
It is so reassuring to remember that, even when we feel like no-one else understands, God sees us and we are not alone.
I could. Not agree more, Lesley.
Anita Ojeda says
OH, I am so very glad we have a God who sees us! He’s seen me through some incredible times of hardship. May I always acknowledge that I serve at his pleasure–not my own.
At His pleasure…not our own…how true! Thanks for the reminder, Anita.
Sarah Geringer says
Beautifully vulnerable post, Tiffiney. Sharing this on Twitter and Pinterest.
Thanks for the shares, Sarah! They are greatly appreciated.
This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I know what it’s like to feel invisible or lost in the shuffle of a bigger family. Great post! I super enjoyed reading it!
Hey Teri, It really is so comforting to know that even if others are looking through us, that God sees us. I have a large family and I sometimes wonder if any of my kids feel lost in the shuffle. While I certainly hope not, and I strive to make that a non reality, it’s good to know that if they do, there is a God who sees them, too.