Think back to a time when you were struggling. You may have wanted to escape through distraction or quit and run away all together. Often times, one of the drivers in those times of trouble is the feeling of loneliness. When we think we are alone in our troubles, we’ll often want to remove ourselves from those that we believe can’t understand our unique perspective.
In Genesis 16, we can read about Hagar, who was a slave. She was given over to Abraham to bear him a son. Hagar’s pregnancy caused contention between Hagar and Abraham’s wife, Sarah. The contention and mistreatment prompted Hagar to run away. God met Hagar in her flight, and told her to return and submit with a promise that He would provide increase for her.
Interestingly, God also tells her that her soon-to-be-born son is going to have trouble and be trouble. Despite this difficult news regarding her son’s future, Hagar willingly submits herself. God calls her to submit and she does, although the promise associated with that submission is not entirely positive. She submits, just the same, to the voice of God and rejoices in His direction no matter how good or bad it may seem.
She says in Genesis 16:13, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'” She’s so happy to hear from God, no matter the message, that she relates to Him so differently that she calls Him something different. She calls Him “the God who sees me.”
Hagar needed to be seen. She needed to know that she was more than just a slave who was being mistreated. She needed a promise that gave her meaning beyond her circumstances. She needed to be recognized and valued enough to be acknowledged.
We all need to be seen. We want to be seen by others and we need to be seen by God. If we feel like we are lost and forgotten, we will increasingly withdraw to protect from the disappointment of being ignored. There will be trouble and challenges even in the promises of God, but in the knowing that God has not forgotten us, we will find hope and faith. We will willingly submit to even challenging circumstances when we see and remember that God sees and remembers us.
If you find yourself in one of those times of wanting to run, ask Him. Ask Him to show you how He sees you. Your faith to make such a request will reveal His faithfulness. He is the God that sees you. He sees you; do you see Him seeing you?