Hot sun warmed the sand as waves crashed gently on the shore. Gracie happily played with her new friend in the surf, giggling as they jumped over the waves. Excitedly, she continually announced with each incoming wave, “Here comes a big one! Oh my word! It’s so big!”. I chuckled, enjoying the sight under the bright blue sky teeming with puffy, cotton white clouds.
With a concerned eye, I watched as Gracie’s focus was concentrated on her friend, the waves, and the fun. Unaware, she wandered further and further away from where I was sitting. Still, I kept careful watch of her to be sure of her safety. Down the beach she wandered in the waves, giggling, oblivious that she was wandering further away from my protection and sight.
Before long, she stood up amidst the white capped water with a startled expression. I observed her Carefully scanning the massive beach filled with colorful umbrellas, shade tents, and strangers. She began to walk further down the beach, away from me. In her panic, she went looking for me amongst the sea of strangers. All the while, she never left my sight, but I had left hers.
Dear one, how often are we like this little 5-year-old! Wandering away from our Father as we are swept away and distracted by our temporary circumstances here on earth. We tend to think He has removed His loving, watchful, and protective eye from us- especially when we are in seasons of hurting or wilderness silence. This is what the enemy would want us to believe about Him, yet it is not the truth.
El Roi... My God Who Sees...
Read the account of Sarai and Hagar. Genesis 16 NLT
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward[b] all his brothers.”
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[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
It wasn’t an all that uncommon request Sarai had made. For Hagar to sleep with her husband to conceive an heir. In a moment of weakened faith, Sarai took matters into her own hands. She would give her husband an heir one way or another. She would build her family one way or another… because her plan was better than God’s, right? He’d turned a blind eye and a deaf ear right? Interesting that Hagar would wrestle with the same questions about God.
When we take matters into our own hands we often end up realizing that God had a better plan and a better way after a mess ensues. Sarai became bitter and jealous and mistreated Hagar. Neither of them ever left the sight or ear shot range of God the Father.
El Roi, my God who sees.
He sees you. Though perhaps your vision of Him is somewhat clouded by circumstances, fear, pain, loss or suffering, you can rest assured that this Great Ancient God sees you. He has written you as His child on the palm of His hand. He hears your cries. Stay close, stay faithful, stay focused on Him. Don’t try to understand what is happening, just trust Him. Trust His presence. Trust His person.
Help us to remain focused on you. Help us to keep you in our vision as we are constantly in yours, even when we stray, you never allow us to leave your sight. Even if you have withdrawn in proximity for a season for refinement, we are still in your sight. You never leave us, you never have and you never will. What love! Thank you for your unconditional, never-ending love. This love that we don’t deserve and couldn’t earn- you have and give out of the abundance of Who you are. Oh Great God, grow deep in us until there is more of you and little of us. Enable us to bear your light in a world covered in darkness and hopelessness. May we hold the door open for those who do not know of your Joy and peace.
In Jesus Name, Amen.