“So she named the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are El-roi’; for she said, ‘Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?’” -Genesis 16:13
Read Genesis 16
I have two little nieces that bring me great joy. They love to show off their new skills, saying, “Look, Mimi, look at what I can do!” When they fall and hurt their knees, they lament, “Look, Mimi! I got a boo boo.” I am not their mother, but I see them with a loving regard. As the oldest child, it has been difficult to justify my perpetual singleness and supposed barrenness to my family and society. Sometimes I believe the lie that I am not successful or beautiful until I have a spouse and a child.
Hagar was a mistreated slave girl who did not choose to marry nor sleep with Abram. These events were done to her. As a used woman, she used her pregnancy to grasp worth in this society. Disrespecting Sarai did nothing to elevate her status. Hagar continued to be harmed by Abram’s absence and Sarai’s harshness. She had to escape. Then, the Lord found her. No one was looking for her, but the Lord sought her. Hagar was seen with a loving regard. By naming the place of encounter, “God Sees,” Hagar’s story reveals the God who looks upon all with a loving regard.
Maybe there is an area of neglect in your life where you question if God really sees. I used to feel neglected in my singleness. Daily encounters with the God Who Sees Me center my worth in his loving regard. It is difficult to feel neglected when you notice the many ways you are indeed seen and loved.
My God, will you reveal yourself to us and show us the ways you see our conditions? Will you open our eyes to the unseen this season and lead our hearts in loving action?
Noemi Vega, M.Th., South Texas Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; Adjunct Faculty, Spiritual Formation, M.A. Ministry Leadership & Culture, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary