When was the last time you felt overlooked?
How about forgotten, excluded, misunderstood, or unseen?
Many of us aren't strangers to these feelings. We often wonder if anyone–even God–really sees us. When life seems overwhelming, it can be easy to wonder if we are truly alone.
As I read the Scriptures, I'm often reminded of two things: (1) these feelings aren't unique to you or me and (2) God truly does see us and is with us.
In Genesis 16, we read of a woman named Hagar. The servant-turned-wife of Abram (later Abraham), is sent away when Abram's fir wife Sarai (later Sarah), who is barren, learns that Hagar is pregnant. It's a complicated situation and one that you'd do well to spend time reading for yourself. Ultimately, Hagar finds herself utterly alone and afraid and cries out to God. He answers her and so she gives him the name, "El Roi," which means "the God who sees."
At the height of Hagar's loneliness, God met her and reminded her that she was truly seen. Names are significant and the choice of the biblical writers to include El Roi is important. It is a reminder, for Hagar, for you, and for me, that even when we feel utterly overlooked, forgotten, and unseen, God is near and God sees.
Where in your life have you felt unseen? Perhaps in your family, your work, or even in your childhood? Spend some time reflecting on that moment or moments. Ask God to show you where He was in the midst of it.
Is there anything that you tried to keep hidden from those around you or even from God? Ask God if there is anything in your life that needs to be brought to light in order to be healed by the God who sees?
Before Jesus ascended, he told his followers that he would be with them always (Matthew 28:20). Reflect upon that. How does it make you feel? Share those feelings with God and ask Him to awaken you to His presence as you go about your day today.
Long Beach Regional Pastor