[Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.” — Genesis 16:13 ESV
If there is one person in Scripture I would not want to be, it’s Hagar. She was abused, unseen, and unwanted. She was Sarah’s servant, Abraham’s mistress, and Ishmael’s mother. You see, Sarah was supposed to be waiting on God for a child. Instead of waiting patiently in belief, she went to Isaac and asked him to get her servant Hagar pregnant. Poor Hagar had no choice and found herself pregnant by Abraham. When Sarah realized Hagar was pregnant, she went nuts and banished her from their household in jealousy.
Imagine that. This is the world of the Bible. It’s full of deception, intrigue, and runaways. Hagar had to feel incredibly violated and unseen. She had been used and then forced out, completely exploited.
But as she was fleeing Abraham and Sarah, an angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her to go back to Abraham and Sarah. The angel said Hagar would bear a son, and no one would be able to count his descendants.
In response, Hagar gave God a name. In every other passage God names people, but Hagar got to call God “The God Who Sees” or El Roi. He saw her in her affliction, and He called her out of the wilderness.
When I was pregnant with my second little boy, we were living in Charlotte, and as transplants to the city, we had very few friends. I felt like my son was going to be uncelebrated because there were so few people in my life to celebrate with us.
But then I came across this passage about Hagar and immediately felt known and seen by God. Even if no one else knew a young woman was carrying a tiny baby boy, God did. Even if there were not a single joyful congratulatory call, God would be celebrating. Even if I were all alone, God would still be there.
God is the God who sees, and no matter how few human eyes consider us, God always finds us worthy of care.
Even if we are one in a million, just faces in a crowd, God still knows us. God isn’t constrained by time or ability, so He can see each of us intimately and fully. What a gift.
Know that if you feel unseen, God has never lost sight of you. He knows where you lay your head, He knows where you are vulnerable, and He knows where you are strong. He knows the work you do that goes unnoticed by everyone else. He knows every day of your life and knew you when you were in the womb. He has His eyes on you and holds you in the palm of His hand.
Excerpted with permission from Always Enough, Never Too Much by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, copyright Jessica Ashleigh Connolly and Hayley E. Morgan.
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Have you ever felt like no one cares? No one knows? No one sees who you really are, what you’ve done, what’s happened to you? El Roi sees you. Even if it feels like no one else pays you any mind, God is passionately in love with you and watches every detail of your life with great care and love. You’re not unseen. Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full