She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” (Genesis 16:13).
Speaking with a friend about some of the recent challenges she’d faced, the rawness of her pain and frustration tore at me. I prayed for the grace to give her comfort and the words spoken by Hagar in the wilderness flooded into my mind. “God never wastes a shed tear,” I responded. “He is the God who sees.”
I could just imagine the servant’s emotions as she fled from her envious mistress. Hagar hadn’t helped the situation by flaunting her ability to conceive over Sarah, but the treatment she received in return was harsh and unyielding. Terrified, she fled into the desert pregnant, alone and very far from her known home in Egypt (Genesis 16:4-6). Most likely contemplating death there, she instead encountered a messenger from God who spoke words of encouragement, guidance and healing to her hurting soul.
We don’t know if Hagar had embraced the faith of her masters before that point. But the experience was so powerful, she declared a new name for the One who saw and met her in her pain (Genesis 16:13).
Many of us have had to struggle with gut wrenching pain or sadness. At such times, it may seem that God is far away and uncaring. But nothing could be further from the truth. It is in those experiences that God is closer than ever before. Without Him carrying us through, we never would make it out whole. Rather than close our hearts, we need to be still and open to what God is saying. For anyone currently in such a season, I pray that His words of healing and restoration will wash over you and bring you out stronger than ever before.
DEEPER: Read Luke 7:38-50 for the experience of another woman who felt seen and touched by Jesus.