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.” Genesis 16:13
I can only imagine how Hagar must have been feeling. Most are familiar with the story of how Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands when they were desperate to have a child. They had been given a promise from the Lord. He had promised they would have numerous descendants. But, still, Sarah remained barren.
We can think about and put ourselves in Sarah’s shoes. Waiting on a promise to unfold. If you have been a follower of Jesus for any time, you have likely had times of waiting. You also may be familiar with the sting of taking matters into your own hands and not waiting on God’s promise and timing to unfold.
But, can we stop and think about Hagar? Hagar was the servant of Sarah, who became the instrument in which Sarah and Abraham’s plan apart from God, took place.
It seems that Hagar could have fled. She could have up and left the area when approached with the idea of bearing Abraham’s child in lieu of his wife, Sarah. She may have been able to try to talk some sense into Sarah by reminding her of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and unwaivering promises. But, she partook in the human-made plan to make Sarah and Abraham parents.
Hagar went along with the plan until the situation became unbearable. Sarah began mistreating her. I can imagine the bitterness Sarah would feel toward Hagar. And, I can imagine the pain, isolation, and loneliness Hagar would feel.
The Lord didn’t allow Hagar to stay secluded in her pain. He sent an angel for her. The angel spoke direction to her and that is when Hagar knew the Lord saw her. Hagar declared, “You are the God who sees me.” What a comfort to know that God sees us. We see so clearly how the Lord was with and was leading Abraham. But in chapter 16 of Genesis, we see that none were forgotten. Hagar was not forgotten.
I pray for times like these in the lives of my children. When they are struck back by God’s presence. When they have no doubt that the Lord sees them.
My oldest daughter recently became separated from our family while on vacation. We were visiting Cannon Beach in Oregon, which is a bustling little town throughout the summer. There were 9 of us walking through the town in search of a place to eat dinner. Having made the mistake of heading into town without a plan at prime dinner time, we were faced with overcrowded restaurants with long waits. The adults all paused in our search to talk about where we would go next. After deciding on our next destination, we headed off.
Making our way through the overcrowded streets, our group of 9 seemed to kind of break off from one cohesive group to 3 smaller groups. After several blocks, I took inventory and noticed I could not see Mikayla, our 12 year old. “Jeff, do you have Mikayla up there with you?”
“No, I think she’s in the back group.”
“Dave, is Mikayla back there with you?”
“Jeff, where is Mikayla?” panic filling my voice. Even retelling this story is causing my heart to beat faster and my whole body to tense. There is nothing like not knowing where your child is. The hunger and fatigue I had felt a moment prior, gave way to a huge adrenaline rush, as I pushed back toward the crowd, following the path we had just taken.
When is the last time I saw her? Had she mentioned wanting to look in a particular shop? What color was her shirt? Does someone have her?
Frantically calling her name, scanning the sidewalks on either side as I walked, I had laser focus. I would not stop until I found her.
Lord, help me. Be with her. Keep her safe. Lead me to her.
Immediately after muttering that short prayer, the phone in my hand began to vibrate. On the caller identification screen it read British Columbia. Seriously a telemarketer is calling right now? I couldn’t take my eyes off the sidewalks. But, I glanced down one more time, and realized maybe it was someone calling me about Mikayla. “Hello! Hello? Hello?”
I look up one more time, turning my head to look down a side street and there she was. Oh, there she was! My girl! We ran toward each other and embraced in the middle of the road, crying and holding each other tighter.
We both cried on each other’s shoulders. “I just prayed,” I told her.
“Me, too. As the phone was ringing, I prayed.”
“Was that you calling me?”
“Yes. So many people passed me by as I sat there crying. But one older couple stopped and asked if I needed help. They sat down with me and gave me their phone to use.”
“Where are they? I need to thank them.”
We both looked back at where Mikayla had come from. “Is that them?” I asked.
“No. Mom, I don’t seem them anywhere.”
They were gone. I so wanted to thank them.
Suddenly, a supernatural chill came over my body as I pondered the thought that the Lord had sent angels. Remembering Mikayla’s words that “everyone else just passed me by, but one couple stopped to help”. This happened just as I was communicating with the Lord.
Oh God, with the hundreds upon thousands of people walking around this town, you saw us. You heard the prayer uttered amongst the chaos. And, you saw us.
Only God could change anxiety over a lost child to joy over knowing the All Powerful, Almighty, Sovereign King of the Universe sees you and your little family.
Thank you, Lord for keeping my girl safe. Thank you for leading me right to her. Thank you for seeing us. Thank you for never leaving us. Thank you for revealing yourself to my child in her time of need.
Just as Hagar needed the reassurance that she was not forgotten, when we seek the Lord, He will show us that we are seen and remembered by Him.
Dear one, you are seen. You are loved. You are cherished by your Heavenly Father. Seek Him.