King David wrote in Psalms 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
Have you ever felt overlooked? Invisible? Just wishing someone would care about what you need or even who you are? Yeah, I can relate. I think we all can no matter our age or profession. We have all felt that at one point in time or another. Whether it was on the playground in grade school while the teams were getting selected, or maybe even this week as you grieve the passing of a close friend. You’re just hoping that someone will see that you are worth their time and attention.
I’ve pastored for over a few decades now, and I can’t tell you the amount of people who have left churches because they felt overlooked. The pastor didn’t check on them or no one said, “hi” when they visited. So, I’m just saying, if that can be felt inside a church of all places, I’m pretty sure that it is simply a human condition that we all feel and just hope at some point we are validated in those perspectives.
In Genesis 16 Moses tells a story of an Egyptian servant named Hagar who encounters a hard time and in the process learns an invaluable lesson. She’s brought in by her master’s wife as a surrogate because Sarai and Abram were struggling to have a child. She finds herself pregnant by him and then actually treated harshly by the very person who asked her to do this for them! Talk about an unfair situation! The story finds her in emotional pieces, pregnant, and sitting by a fountain in the desert. Not hard to visualize, is it?! I would go all in assuming there were a few hormonal tears running down her cheeks in that moment as well. And it’s at this lowest of low points, that an angel (or the Lord) starts speaking to her in a way that conveys compassion and strength to her and purpose for her unborn child.
It’s at this point that she calls Him what would be said in Hebrew, El Roi: which means the God who sees. It’s this name that declares that He is the God who even knows and numbers the hairs on our head and counts our every tear. He knows every detail of our circumstances…never misses a detail of what is happening from before our conception until we breathe our last breath. I’ve been reminded that He is “El Roi” a lot lately!
Throughout scriptures, men and women would experience a moment like this with God in their personal journeys and then add that experience to the description of who God is to all of us. In addition to those names given by people, others are the names that God referred to Himself as. But either way, each of these names describe a part of His character and nature. And the reason that Hagar’s recognition that He is a God who sees is so important, is that she recognized that God cared for her—a lowly servant girl—and that He was watching out for her and her child’s well-being.
How encouraging to know that, no matter where we are or what we are currently going through, He is a God who sees us, who loves us, encourages us and promises to never leave! You are not alone and you never will be.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6