Guest Post: My God Sees Me
By Instructor Betty Rotiche, Kenya Highlands University
MY GOD SEES ME
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt alone and forgotten? It is normal to have those feelings of isolation at some point.
In Genesis 16 and 21, we encounter a character whose circumstances changed quickly on two different occasions. She was an Egyptian woman called Hagar.
In Genesis 16, she was employed and comfortably housed and provided for by her employers for whom she was expecting a son. As the pregnancy progressed, she found herself jobless, pregnant and unemployed. According to verse 4, she had become proud and despised Sarah on realization that she was pregnant. This made Sarah cry out to Abraham who gave Sarah the greenlight to get rid of the slave girl. Sarah mistreated Hagar to the extent that she opted to run away (vs 6).
Humanly speaking, one might think that Hagar was at fault and deserved her current predicament. You only sympathize with her pregnant and alone in the desert, probably trying to find her way back to Egypt. However, when the Angel of the Lord appeared in vs 7-vs 14, her conversation with the angel was shocking. The angel called her by name and by occupation, “Hagar, slave of Sarah” (vs 8) and assured her that God had heard her cry of distress (vs 11). Hagar was surprised by the sudden turn of events. She wondered if she had really seen God and lived to talk about it? So, God was really seeing her alone, pregnant and troubled in the desert! She called Him “A God who Sees.”
The angel of the Lord in the first scenario commanded Hagar to go back to her boss and submit. She obeyed. In Genesis 21, we have the same cast but with a different script. Hagar had already given birth to Ishmael and Sarah had also gotten pregnant and given birth to Isaac. The sons of Abraham had grown and were able to play together (VS 9). Then Sarah decided that it wad time to get rid of the Egyptian slave and her son. This time, Abraham’s loyalty was divided and God intervened to ask Abraham to let go of the Egyptian and her son. So, in the morning, Hagar woke up to a painful firing. She was sent away with just some food and water and Abraham literally put the child on her back. She was back to the desert again, alone, isolated and with a child strapped on her back. When the water ran out, Hagar put the boy down and went some 100 metres away so as to watch her son die from a distance (vs 15-16). I find this to be one of the most painful scenes in the Bible. This time, God saw the mother and the son crying and showed up again. He promised to make Ishmael into a great nation and opened Hagar’s eyes to “see” that there was a well where she could get water for her son. Not only was he a ‘God who sees me’ but also a God who ‘sees my child’ and ‘helps me to see.’
Many of us find ourselves in Hagar-like situations sometimes. It can be easier to deal with some of these circumstances if you are the only one in the mix but much more difficult if there is a pregnancy or a child in the picture. Things become a little bit more complicated. The Hagar story is there to remind us that regardless of our circumstances, whether we have gotten ourselves in trouble or someone else’s perceptions and desires have gotten us in trouble, God sees us. Even in the loneliest of places, the deserted places the darkest of places, God sees. He sees the pain, the struggle, the fears and the tears. There is never a moment when we are truly alone. Not only does He see, but he also hears our cries. He has a plan for the life of even the most unexpected amongst us. Jesus, in Luke 12:6-7, assures us that we are worth more than the sparrows yet not even one sparrow is forgotten by God. When it’s all dark and gloomy and lonely, look up. God will open your eyes to see that there is a way where you thought there was no way…after all, even "impossible" is also alternatively spelt “I’m possible” (-Audrey Hepburn). May the power of Christ be made perfect even in our weakest, darkest moments.