“You are the God who sees me…” (Genesis 16:13 NIV)
The tears welled up in my eyes as I wrote the words, “I feel forgotten and disregarded” in my journal. It had been a rough couple of weeks and it was all I could do to simply open my Bible.
As I vented this frustration and concern, I was encouraged to write out not only my complaints and hurt to God in prayer, but to also write out what I thought He might say in response. It didn’t take long for God to start moving through a spirit desperate to feel Him again, reminding me that He is the God who sees me…
“I live, my child. I am alive and I am working. In the end, I will stand on the earth and though your heart grows weary and your emotions run on empty, you will see me. You will see me with your own two eyes and I promise, I will restore you (Job 19:25-27). And in this season of waiting for this coming glory, if you’d let me, I will make this hope the joy of your heart; the kind of joy that brings strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Only I understand the way to wisdom child; only I know where understanding dwells. For I see the ends of the earth; I see everything under the heavens. I am the One who establishes the wind. I am the One who measures the water and tells it to only come this far. I am the One who sends down the rain, who opens the storehouses laden with hail, and who cuts a path for the thunderstorm (Job 28:23-26). That’s me!
So too, I am the one who looked upon wisdom and approved of her; I tested her and confirmed her. My child, if you want wisdom and understanding, all that must be done is for you to fear me; to know me and to love me (Job 28:27-28).
Though I am the Almighty and the Great I Am, my child you must also know…
I am the God who sees you.
I see you as I saw Hagar wondering in the desert;
I see you as I saw Sarah grieving over her barren womb;
I see you as I saw Esther ripped from all she knew and placed in a foreign home;
I see you as I saw Ruth giving when she had nothing more to give; and
I see you as I saw Rahab trusting in a God she did not yet know or understand.
I am the God who sees you.
I am the God who formed you (Psalm 139:13), who knows you (Psalm 139:1), who washes you whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7), and whose love for you surpasses all knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). My dear one, you are my treasured possession (Deuteronomy 26:18). I do not grow weary or tired (Isaiah 40:28), so what makes you think I would ever grow weary or bored with you?
I delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17)!
All these things I Am child, but I’ll tell you what I am not. I am not your emotions. I am not your feelings. I created you with those, yes, but that does not mean they are truth, for I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. I am the God who sees you.”
There are numerous times throughout the Scripture where we see our favorite ‘heroes of faith’ wondering through the deepest, darkest, driest, and most barren wastelands; many of which God Himself led them to.
One of my favorite instances of this is found in the book of Hosea.
In the poetic writings of this minor prophet, we can see parallels between God’s relationship with His children Israel and the relationship between Hosea and his unfaithful wife Gomer.
Instructed by God to take this woman as his bride, Hosea married Gomer knowing full well that she had indulged in prostitution and would be unfaithful again.
As the story goes, we see God and His nation Israel, through the lens of Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, going back-and-forth between anger and tenderness; between disloyalty and redemption; rejection and renewal.
And we discover that often it is the most desolate wilderness that brings about the most beautiful redemption.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and I will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:14-15 NIV)
How beautiful and tender our God is towards us!
It is often in the most barren circumstances; the bleakest situations, and the most hopeless days that our eyes are able to settle once more on the God of our youth with a childlike faith and dependence.
God leads us into desert seasons not to deplete us, but to speak tenderly to us there.
He strips us of all other platforms that offer temporary hope and satisfaction to help us realize that hope placed in Christ alone will never put us to shame (Romans 5:5).
He takes away to give back abundantly.
Even in the wilderness; even when we feel dry and desperate for renewal; even when it feels as if God is a million miles away, we can rest in knowing that not only is He faithful, but that He is also the God who sees us.
He sees your pain.
He hears your sorrow.
He knows your fear.
Regardless of what we feel, we can have assurance in knowing that what might be a valley of trouble right now will one day be renewed into a gateway of hope more satisfying and more redeeming than anything we could have ever imagined.
So keep going, keep trusting, and keep hoping in that God who sees.