“‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’” Genesis 16:13b (NLT)
I received the long text and read it slowly. Then I read it again. She accused me of saying things I never said. She assumed words I’d written on social media were about her when they weren’t.
I sat stunned.
She didn’t want to meet or talk it out. She was ending our friendship completely and asking me to never contact her again.
A cry of injustice rose inside of me. I felt misunderstood. While I wanted to call a friend to “vent,” I knew I needed to allow some time to pass before doing something that would likely fall into the gossip category.
“Do you see this, God?” I muttered aloud as I sat in my van in the school parking lot waiting for my daughter. I knew the answer. His name is El Roi, the God who sees me.
The Lord revealed this name to a woman named Hagar in the Bible. She was an Egyptian servant who worked for a barren woman named Sarah. Sarah decided to have a child by asking her husband to sleep with Hagar. Sarah then mistreated pregnant Hagar to the point that she ran away to the desert.
I understand Hagar’s urge to run away. I have felt it many times. But through the name El Roi, we discover that in our lowest moments, someone sees us. God sees our pain. He hears our cries.
After the Lord sent an angel to encourage Hagar, we find these words: “Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’” (Genesis 16:13).
We’re never alone because we serve a God who sees us. We can rest knowing God is never unaware of what we are going through. El Roi saw Hagar, but He didn’t promise a quick fix to all her problems. He sees us, but He also sees the larger picture outside of the constraints of time.
Sometimes God calls us to have a boundary and walk away from abuse or mistreatment. At times, others set the boundaries, and a relationship we want to keep is over. In other situations, God calls us to stay the course. He asks us to persevere in a difficult marriage, work situation or church conflict with a new perspective, holding onto His promises.*
When I’ve been in a season of betrayal or difficulty, such as the day I received that very long text, I have wanted God to just fix it. Have you ever felt that way? While El Roi sees our mistreatment, we have to trust His instructions since He sees the bigger picture.
God knows when we cry buckets of tears and aren’t even sure why we are sad. He celebrates victory with us when we master a new skill or forgive a difficult person. He sees us on those blah days when all we feel is numbness. He might not instantly fix every predicament we encounter, but we never have to doubt His presence. We are never alone because El Roi is the God who sees.
El Roi, thank You for seeing me. You know what this day has been like. You know the people who are heavy on my heart. It encourages me to realize that with a huge world of people out there, You know me individually. Bring growth in my life as I behold and believe You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 56:8, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (NLT)
Proverbs 15:3, “The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (NLT)
Have you heard? COMPEL Training's Direct Access: A Writers Book Club launches August 17! This unique book club is specifically for those who want to learn how to write Bible studies or improve their writing in general. It’s such a unique experience for writers, we’re opening it up to the public! We’ll study the writing behind the Bible study, The Names of God: His Character Revealed, led by author Melissa Spoelstra and her editor. The study takes place in a private Facebook group where writers are given direct access to engage with the author and the editor in real time!
Interested in participating? Get all the details here!
The Direct Access book club is free for COMPEL Members. For not much more, you can join COMPEL Training and access all our writing training and encouragement every month.
You can connect with Melissa Spoelstra at her website and access video clips, Bible study resources, her speaking calendar and blog posts.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
How does knowing that God’s name is El Roi, the God who sees you, encourage you today? Share your thoughts in our comments section!
*Today’s devotion is meant to encourage anyone facing typical frustrations within a relationship. However, we know that 1 in 4 women report facing domestic violence or abuse. To get confidential, anonymous help or practical next steps to help a friend, call 1-800-799-7233 (-SAFE) or visit this website.
© 2020 by Melissa Spoelstra. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries believes the Bible is clear about the sins of racism and injustice. To read our full response, click here.