My God Who Sees Me!

My God Who Sees Me!

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Do you ever wonder sometimes if God sees you? That somehow you are going through life alone, hidden among the masses of people and its as if you are a ghost? Do people walk right past you and your kids as if you weren’t there?

In Genesis 16, we are introduced to Hagar by her description as Sarai’s handmaid, and an Egyptian. She was a servant in Abram’s household and was therefore required to be obedient to every request, command, and expected task that was given to her to complete. It was customary in those times that the servant did not question the master morally, ethically, or in any other fashion, so when Sarai handed her to Abram as a second wife, Hagar did so as an obedient servant. Hagar is not totally painted as the ideal servant however, she appears to have a bit of attitude of her own, as when she conceived, she scoffed at her master and in King James English, actually despised her. This too was a cultural response to the role of women. A woman who could bare children was more highly revered than the barren woman. To be barren was a major slight that a woman would often take deeply personally, and it would be a strike against her perceived abilities to perform her duties as a wife, mother, and contributor to society. So in this context, you could understand Hagar’s feelings and perceptions to a point, but only to a point. She was still Sarai’s handmaid, still her servant, and it honestly might have been best to keep her disdain to herself.

Sarai would have none of this and tried to pin it on her husband, which of course didn’t work, at which point she dealt harshly with Hagar, to the point that Hagar ran away. This would be the first of two times when Hagar left Abram’s household. But even as Hagar’s vocalized attitude resulted in harsh treatment and she ran away, God comes to her in this chapter.

I have met people, and you probably have too, who have said, “Well, if you hadn’t said, done, this or that, perhaps you wouldn’t be in the pickle you’re in now! Check your attitude, change your ways, then life will correct itself and go better for you!” The closest God comes to saying anything of the sort, is telling Hagar to return to her mistress, because the promise He made to Abram will extend to Ishmael.

[bctt tweet=”Even before the #Law, and long before the #Age of #Grace, #God comes to Hagar and extends grace to her.” username=”songdovemd”]This grace is epitomized by the very name God asks Hagar to give her child when he is born. According to Genesis 16:11, the name Ishmael means, “I have heard your affliction”. Hagar can’t help but exclaim that God has seen her, and names God as such in Genesis 16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

Even more amazing in this verse, is her wonderment at herself. The Hebrew lexicon for this instance of “looked after him” suggests the definition of having sought after, having considered, having discerned the other person. Here we have an Egyptian woman amazed that God would come to her, that God would see her, and all the while prior, she had never sought Him herself or even thought to consider Him.

Truly the mercy of God knows no bounds. Hagar had to deal with the fallout from expressing the thoughts and feelings in her heart toward Sarai. Yes, even though her behaviour was culturally driven, it was still not acceptable to have allowed those to be visible to her mistress. But God didn’t just tell her to go back and face the music. God told her to name her child in a manner that would forever tell Hagar that God saw her in her affliction.

Hagar hadn’t asked to be Abram’s second wife. Hagar hadn’t asked to bear his child. Hagar’s sudden motherhood had been thrust on her by her mistress, acted on by her master, and now she’d opened her big mouth to jump from the frying pan into the fire as the saying goes.

[bctt tweet=”Sometimes the things that happen to us in life are not caused by our own doing.” username=”songdovemd”] Whether we make our situations worse by how we respond to those unwanted circumstances and events, or whether we handle them gracefully, the fact remains, we do not always bring trials and tribulations on ourselves, sometimes they come to us by the hand of others.

Just like Hagar, I have not always responded well to being thrust into situations I did not ask for. I am known for speaking my mind and letting others know exactly how I feel about it. I’ve never been one to take unwanted negative situations “lying down”. If I can see the silver lining quickly enough, that will often quell the need to speak my mind, because I can see a way to turn the bad situation around, whether quickly or over the long haul. Just like Hagar, I became a mother, but not by my wish or design. Also like Hagar, I would end up being a single-mother. Just like Hagar, I didn’t necessarily handle my situation wisely at all times, but unlike Hagar, the need to flee was not over those circumstances. That is our only divergent point. However, fleeing, just like Hagar, my children came with me.

[bctt tweet=”I can say right along with Hagar, #God #sees me. God has seen me in my #affliction and come to me.” username=”songdovemd”] He didn’t have to. I am not a model celestial citizen all the time. But God looked past my occasional outburst and rash responses. God looked past my faults and failings, and just as He overlooked Hagar’s behaviour, He saw me and came to me. Does that mean I was released from how my own behaviour inflamed things at times? No! Just like Hagar, I had to face the music for various situations that came up along the way.

But God in His mercy did not send me further into “exile”, but chose to show me that He still had a plan for me, that He had plans for my children, that He would walk with me if I would be obedient to Him and learn to deal with the unwanted situations I’d been thrust into.

This is one of the things I like so much about what God chose to include in the Scriptures. Real people facing real situations having real reactions and having to deal with real fallout, make these stories so much more personal and applicable. Even before the Law was handed down, God was showing His mercy, His love, and His presence to mankind.

What an amazing God we serve. My God sees me!

(originally posted on my author blog: God, You See Me
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