So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”Gen. 16:13
God hears and sees you amid your pain and will always look after you. No matter what your grief, loss, or even fear, he knows every part of it. He loves you with an everlasting love! He will always be with you. A tender example of the watch-care of God is found in the life of Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid of Sarai, and the mother of Ishmael.
The Watch-care of God
God had promised Abram and Sarai a son in their later years, but instead of waiting for the blessing of conception, they, especially Sarai, doubted God. Sarai decided to take matters into her own hands. She brought Hagar to her husband, and urged him to conceive a child through her, as a sort of surrogate. Lo, and behold, that’s exactly what happened. But this did not make Hagar’s mistress, Sarai, happy. On the contrary, Hagar gloated, and Sarai became jealous. Sarai treated her so harshly that Hagar became fearful and ran away (Genesis 16:1–6). But “the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness” (Genesis 16:7).
In the Old Testament, “the angel of the Lord” refers to deity. This is an Old Testament preincarnate appearance of Jesus, the Son of God. As such, Christ directed her to return to her mistress Sarai, and promised to multiply her son’s offspring. Ishmael, the name given by the angel, means “God will hear.” His name would be a daily reminder that God took notice of Hagar’s pain. Comforted by these words from God, Hagar calls the Lord El Roi, or “God of seeing,” and names the spring Beer-lahai-roi, which means “well of the Living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:8–14).
God is fully aware of all that threatens your wellbeing.
This same God hears and sees you. He is fully aware of all that threatens your well-being. When Jesus wanted to reassure his disciples of these truths, he told them that although “five sparrows were sold for two pennies . . . not one of them is forgotten before God.” Jesus gives the same assurance to you that he gave to Hagar when he declared to his disciples that their value was greater than that of sparrows. If the situation of every single bird never escapes the notice of God, just think of how much he knows about your situation! His knowledge of your life situation extends even to the number of hairs on your head. And through it all, the Lord says, “you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6–7).
The book of Hebrews gives another, related guarantee to the believer. The more we learn to rest in God as our caretaker, the more we are comforted by the words of Jesus, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God sees you. He sees your pain. He sees your loss. He knows your hurts. He is looking after you. And he will never leave you.
For Further Reflection
- Take a few minutes to read Matthew 6:25– 34.
- List the cares you are concerned about and thank God that he knows your needs and is looking after you.
*This blog post is excerpted from A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing.