Saturday, January 5, 2013

The One Who Sees

Each New Year’s Day approaches, and people ask, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” I actually strongly dislike resolutions; it seems like I’m constantly saying I need to do the same things over and over, but no real progress is ever made. Sound familiar?

But resolutions, or goals, are God-given steps for achieving amazing things. Yes, God-given. Throughout the Bible, God tells us to set goals for ourselves, to determine what we are going to do, and work a plan to accomplish it. Often in my own life I have found that a revelation from God spurs me to make a new goal or resolution.

Genesis 16 records a new name for God: Jehovah El-Roi, the God Who Sees Me. Ironically, this name was not revealed to Abram, the man whose faith in God’s promises was credited to him as righteousness. No, it was revealed to a woman, a slave, named Hagar. Hagar was considered Sarai’s (Abram’s wife) personal property—she didn’t have an identity outside of who owned her. And it was to this one that God revealed one of His most intimate characteristics: He sees me.

The word “see” may lose something in our English language. In Hebrew, this word can mean to be visible, to perceive, to give attention to, to discern. God doesn’t simply see us, He understands us. In fact, the angel of the Lord who speaks to Hagar tells her to name her baby Ishmael because God has taken notice or heed of her deep grief and pain.

Does that give you hope today, friend? Hope that in the middle of your chaos, in the middle of your pain, in the middle of your happiness, joy, excitement, or grief, God sees you. And not only does He see you, He gets you. He understands you, He knows the back story, the reasons you feel the way you do. He doesn’t see through you; He sees you.

Maybe this account isn’t new to you. Maybe you’ve heard it spoken on many times, or read it repeatedly over the years. But maybe today, in the middle of what you are doing, in the midst of the dailyness of it all, I can whisper some hope to you: God sees you. You are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not invisible.

And may that whisper spur you on to a resolution: to know the One who sees you. To not just know about Him, but get to know Him. To actually live as if you understand how much He loves you, and to allow that knowledge to change the way you live out your faith in God, your love for your family, your interaction with other people, and the way you work. He sees you. He loves you. And He wants to help you to become the person you were created to be.

I love that God revealed himself to a slave girl, and not Abram or even Sarai. No one thought she was very special, and that gives me hope that He would want to reveal himself to me.

In Beth Moore’s book, Believing God, she has a list or resolutions based on Genesis 15.

                     1. “God is who He says He is.”   
                     2. “God can do what He says He can do.”
                     3. “I am who God says I am.”
                     4. “I can do all things through Christ.”
                     5. “God’s Word is alive and active in me.”
                     6. “I’m believing God!”

May these resolutions lead you to a place of hope in the Jehovah El-Roi, the God Who Sees.