Have you ever felt like God was a million miles away, especially when you needed Him most? I have, and so have others. Even King David felt that way. In Psalm 10:1 he wrote, “Why are you so far away, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself when we are in trouble?” (GNT) I don’t know if it’s because we are so focused on our problem or we expect God to transport us out of the situation that causes us to feel like He’s so far away in those times.
Hagar, the mother of Abraham’s first child, felt that way too. She had been run off by Abraham’s wife because she had gotten pregnant. While she was running from her problems, an angel met her and asked where she was going. She explained how hard things were and that she felt abandoned. The angel told her to name her son Ishmael which means “God hears”. He also told her to go back to the situation she was in. She named the place Beer-Lahai-Roi which means “Well of the God who sees me”.
From that, we know that God hears us and sees us. He’s not a million miles away. There’s often times when He puts us back into situations or doesn’t take us out because He is teaching us and molding us. If we run from hard times, we will miss out on becoming who He was forming us to be. A piece of clay isn’t able to be used until it goes through the fire. Until then, it will easily crumble and the potter has to start over.
Not only did God hear Hagar’s cry for help, He heard David’s. Going back to Psalm 10, David answers his own question in verse 14. It says, “But you do see; you take notice of trouble and suffering and are always ready to help. The helpless commit themselves to you; you have always helped the needy.” If God saw Hagar and David, He sees and hears you. He’s not a million miles from you. He’s right there with you, walking through this right beside you. He is the God who sees you, and He’s working things out for your good even if you can’t see it.
Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash
Have you ever felt like God doesn’t see you? Does it feel like He doesn’t see you or even know your name? It sometimes can feel like God has forgotten you when things aren’t going your way. Hagar, Sarai’s maid servant, felt that way. She had been handed over to Abram as a wife by her master with the intent of getting pregnant and giving up her child to Sarai. No one asked her or God if that’s what they wanted, but here she was pregnant with Abram’s seed. She was despised by Sarai and chased off.
She found herself going from a place of security to insecurity. She went from knowing where she was going to sleep and not having to worry about food to being homeless and hungry. She broke down in the desert. She wept and cried out to God. He sent an angel to meet her in the wilderness. He called her by name in Genesis 16:8. He said, “Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?” (NLT)
The angel of God knew where she was and her name just like He knows your name and where you are. You may be crying in the wilderness because you’ve been done wrong as well, but God sees you. He will meet you in that place and bless you. He will not leave you in the wilderness unprotected and despondent. When you cry out to Him, He will answer because you are not forgotten. You are important to Him and are not hidden from His view.
In verse 13, she calls God by a new name, El-Roi. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” In that moment, the doubts fled. She knew that God saw her broken in the wilderness. If He saw her, then He sees you. Each one of us are important to Him. You don’t have to be living the blessed life for Him to know where you are. You can be a single mom who is homeless and not sure where to go or what to do like Hagar, and God will hear your cry because He sees you. No matter how bad things are, you are not forgotten. God sees you and will meet you in your wilderness.