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He Is Ever-Noticing

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt completely unseen by those around you?

Have you ever felt completely unseen by those who should love you most?

It hurts and we feel alone. It creates a disturbing feeling in our souls that is difficult to shake.

I cry out to the God in prayer…Lord, are you still there? Do you see me?

And he is so faithful. As always, he guided me to Scripture to find the answer to my question.

I read the story of Hagar in the Old Testament. I've never spent much time reading about her or studying her story, but I saw this passage with new eyes and felt prompted to share with you. I suspect many of you have felt unseen either at least once, or maybe many, many times.

In Genesis 16, Hagar is an Egyptian slave girl of Abraham and Sarah.

Here is a part of her story:

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.” - Genesis 16:1-9

What do I love about this story?

Verse 7 says, "The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert." The fact that he "found" Hagar tells me that he was looking for her.

When no one else was looking for Hagar, God was. Abraham had written her off and Sarah was glad to be rid of her. But God had not forgotten her…not for one second.

The Hebrew name Hagar means "one who seeks refuge." The story of Hagar is the story of millions of woman and children who are exploited, trafficked and rejected all over our world. It's the story of the discarded and the unseen. But I also think it's a story for me and for you. No matter what our situation, we all feel alone and forgotten at times in our lives.

We all have experienced the sting of betrayal and rejection, or hurt and deep grief. Feeling "unseen" by others is one of the loneliest and most painful roads to travel.

But we have a God who is looking for us, who is pursuing us. If we would stop and turn around, we would run right into him, because he's right there, longing to be intimately involved in the details of our lives.

God not only finds Hagar but He blesses her by telling her that her descendants would be too numerous to count. The angel spoke to her, promising her a child named Ishmael. I love that the name Ishmael means, "God hears." He heard her cries, even in the dessert (which many of us may feel like we are in the dessert).

God hears us, no matter where we are. He hears our cries and our pleas for help.

Hagar's response to God seeking her out in her hopelessness was to give Him a name. She calls Him "The God who sees me." I think it's an incredibly touching thing for her to do. She then says, "I have now seen the One who sees me" (Genesis 16:13). Perfectly stated. She finally gets it. She felt seen and loved by God.

What a wonderful picture of God's generosity, redemption and love. Hagar, an insignificant Egyptian slave girl, finds favor and hope with the God of all creation. Maybe she didn't know anything else about God expect that He was looking for her, and He saw her. But that was enough.

And Hagar didn't have to do anything to please God. He was already pleased with her, just for being her.

I love that reminder for Hagar, and for us.

It was bedtime, and I was singing the song "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" to my daughter Kendyl. She asked me if she had gotten too big now for God to hold her in His hands. I said to her, "No, you are never too big for God to hold you. God is still holding mommy in His hands too." She looked at me with amazement in her eyes and said, "Wow mommy, God must be HUGE!"

I couldn't have said it better myself. God is huge. He's so huge that He can SEE every one of us, exactly when we need Him to see us the most. He sees the details. He hasn’t forgotten us or lost track of us.

He sees me. He sees you.

He is already pleased. Stop and soak in this amazing truth.

Lord, I’m so thankful for your eyes that are always on me and my situation. You know everything that’s going on in my life. When I feel forgotten and unseen, remind me that you are the ever-seeing, ever-noticing God, and you love me deeply. Amen.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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