Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”
The fateful clock kept ticking as anxious moments passed. My weary body kept telling me to push on but my soul despaired, “Why me?” My lonely heart bellowed. “Will anyone ever want me?” I had relentlessly worked until daybreak wondering if anyone would hire me let alone ask me out. Failure seemed to be a defining character.
Broken dreams, disappointments, feelings of abandonment terrorized my mind. The lies “You are worthless. No one wants you! “called out to me. My longing heart cried for a job, a husband, someone to see my hurt and notice my pain. Where are you, Lord? Do you care? Tears stained my face as my thoughts spiraled out of control. God in His mercy reminded me about Hagar the young Egyptian woman who had a face to face encounter with El Roi—The-God-Who-Sees.
Hagar was a foreigner who served in the household of Abram. Abram and his wife Sarai had been promised a child by Jehovah but years of expectancy had worn thin. Hagar was now pregnant with her master’s child making Sarai mistreat and despise her. Abram didn’t care about Hagar. (Genesis 16:6) “Do I matter to anyone? Why do I have to live with abuse?” Questions like these must have raged through her mind while escaping into the desert.
As the exhausted Hagar knelt by a spring weary from emotions and fleeing, the incarnate Christ appears calling her by name. Wow! The true spring of Living Water spoke to her declaring her value and acknowledging her pain! Now God will rectify the situation by telling Sarai and Abram they sinned, right? However, The Angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return to Sarai and submit! “You want me to go back! Did You not see the mistreatment?” El Roi reassured Hagar that He had seen her affliction but had a purpose which included obediently returning. Her encounter with El Roi changed the way she saw her circumstances leading her to faithfully obey.
Desperation forces my attention toward the inner workings of my heart. It isn’t wrong to hope for a husband, children, a good job, or opportunities to serve, however, God is more concerned with refining my character than on temporary comfort. My initial reaction is to cry out in self-pity as desires turn to idols. Idols blind my heart to the truth of who I am in Christ. I forget God sees all of me—the beautiful and the ugly which need refining. When I get lost in the messiness, God’s grace reminds me of the pouring out of Christ’s blood on my behalf. The idols fade from view because Christ is all sufficient. Focusing on the truth of Christ’s all sufficiency allows me to obediently follow the One who sees me.