Hagar—Sarai’s servant—holds a special place in my heart. Treated more like a piece of property than a woman of worth, she experienced a most amazing encounter with God at a time when she felt overwhelmed and underappreciated.
Genesis 16 tells us that—kudos to Sarai—Hagar had become pregnant with Abram’s child. That led to no end of trouble between Sarai and Hagar. Sarai treated Hagar harshly, and Hagar responded by running away. She hit the road for her homeland, Egypt.
Put yourself in Hagar’s sandals for a moment. Imagine this gal sitting by a spring of water in the wilderness. Perhaps she’s nauseous from the pregnancy. She’s emotionally battered and physically exhausted. She feels betrayed and abandoned.
Everything changes when God shows up. He calls her by name, engages her in conversation, gives her direction, and bolsters her with the courage needed to return to Sarai and Abram.
It must have been an amazing encounter. From that time forth, she used a name when referring to the Lord. It meant, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
This morning in my quiet time, I read from John 1 where Nathanael and Philip approached Jesus from a distance.
“As they approached, Jesus said, ‘Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.’
‘ How do you know about me?’ Nathanael asked.
“Jesus replied, ‘I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.’” (vv. 47-48).
There it is again—“see.” It’s my special word for 2017, and seeing it (no pun intended) in print twice today brings several insights to mind:
- God sees us at our deepest point of need. Just as He saw Hagar in a physical wilderness and stooped to encourage her, so He sees us when we wander in a wilderness of the soul and He meets us there.
- God sees us even when we can’t see Him. Consider Nathanael’s situation—Jesus saw him under the fig tree long before he and Philip came to Him. We might sometimes question His presence in our circumstances, but the truth is that we’re never out of His sights.
- God sees our heart. “Here’s a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity,” Jesus said of Nathanael. Jesus looked beyond Nathanael’s exterior person and saw his inner being. He does the same with us. Does He see secret sins hidden from men’s eyes? Or does He see complete integrity?
Like Hagar, I find courage in knowing God—like a watchful Father—sees me at all times. I also feel challenged (and somewhat convicted) in knowing He sees my heart. May He look upon it and see complete integrity.
Have you ever had an encounter with the Lord that left you assured that He sees you at all times? On Friday, I’ll share a story about an instance when I knew God saw me.
#bgbg2 #ChristianDevotions #GodSeesUs