The God Who Sees
A few years ago, I was driving home from church and had just finished praying that God would open my eyes to show me someone who needed Him when I spotted a young man walking down the road. His pants were nearly torn apart, exposing most of what they were supposed to cover, and he had no shirt on underneath his ripped and tattered jacket.
I knew this was the person I had just prayed for. I pulled over into the parking lot and got his attention as he walked past. I asked his clothes sizes and told him to wait while I zipped over to the mall to get him a new outfit. When I came back he looked shocked, as if he hadn’t really expected me to return- perhaps life had taught him to anticipate broken promises and disappointment . I asked his name and he mumbled something I could barely understand. I repeated the name I thought he had said and he replied, “ No, but that’s ok. It doesn’t matter anyways.”
I looked him in his eyes and told him it absolutely matters what his name is, who’s he is, and as I started to tell him the story of why our paths crossed and about His Father in heaven who loves Him, who created him and who SEES him, he began to silently weep.
In Genesis we meet Hagar, a servant to Abram’s (Abraham) wife Sarai (Sarah), who was forced to sleep with her mistresses husband to get pregnant and runs away after jealousy over the baby cause Sarai to treat her badly. Alone and pregnant in the desert, the Angel of the Lord (OT pre-incarnate Jesus) appears to Hagar, bringing encouragement and comfort. For finding her in the wilderness, knowing her distress and understanding what she needed to bring her peace, Hagar, the only person in the Bible, Jew or Gentile, male or female, to name God personally, calls him El Roi, “the God of Seeing”, or “ the God Who Sees”.
In the New Testament, Jesus is passing through Samaria, something unusual for Jews to do since the Samaritans were part Jew, part Gentile, and greatly disliked by both. While sitting at the well, a woman approached. He strikes up a conversation with her and proceeds to tell her all about her life and the current state of sin she was living in, revealing to her in one conversation that: He is a Prophet; The Messiah, and; the one who can forgive her sins. Because he saw her in her guilt and shame but sought her anyways, the woman became a believer and told many people about Him.
There are so many lost people in this broken world. So many people who don’t know the love of their Father in heaven. But Jesus came to heal that brokenness and reconcile us to God. While you may not directly identify with the people in these stories- certainly you can understand feeling alone, abandoned, afraid or ashamed. While the world has warped it’s view of Christians to be Stepford perfect, we know that even as believers life sometimes feels overwhelming, as if everything is going wrong and God is nowhere near to hear or help. Marriage problems, concerns over your children, financial worries- all symptoms of a broken and sinful world- but let me assure you, God SEES you and he hears your cries.
God is personally vested in you and took special interest in creating you for “you are fearfully and wonderfully made; that all of His “works [that being you!] are wonderful” (Psalm 139:13-14).
He knows the number of hairs on your head. ( Mathew 10:30 “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”)
He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you, ( John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”) (Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”)
And He knows your name. In Genesis, whenever Abraham and Sarai talk about the young, pregnant servant girl she is always referred to as “ my slave” or “your slave”. She had no importance or significance beyond being a possession. But when God found her in the desert, the first thing He said was, “Hagar”. Whether or not as an Egyptian Hagar new or believed in God is unclear, but He knew who she was.
He knows who you are too.
As His child, God knows each and every sheep by name (John 10:3 “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”)
More than that, your name is engraved, not merely written but CARVED, into the palm of His hand. (Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”)
And ultimately, as a believer, your name is written in the Book of Life. Your name is external. So, no matter what mountain you are climbing or valley you are walking through, stand firm in His promises and rest assured- El Roi, the God who Sees, sees you.