Do you know about the Names of God? In the Old Testament, names were more than cute names to embroider on a diaper bag. Names helped show you who someone was–or who they were hoped to be. You may have heard the name El Shaddai for God. It means “God Almighty” or Jehovah Rapha, “The God Who Heals” and Jehovah Shalom, “The God of Peace”.
I love these names because it reminds me that God doesn’t just bring healing, might or peace. He actually IS healing, might and peace. And many more descriptive names fill the Bible!
Today I read another chapter of Marla Alupoacicei’s book, Prayer Warrior Mom which I highly highly recommend. The title of the chapter alone was worth writing down, “Hear God’s Voice Above the Noise of Daily Life”. With my constant need and journey after quiet, this was actually like a loud gong in my ear!
Marla told the story of Hagar in the Bible. Sarah (Abraham’s wife) had been promised a son. But when she continued to not be pregnant, Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands and send Hagar to Abraham’s bed. (Y’all, I couldn’t help but think about sex-slaves during this. How hard and difficult this would have been for Hagar!) Hagar became pregnant and when Sarah found out, she began to mistreat her. Hagar did what any of us would do–she ran away.
But who came after Hagar?
God! Oh, yes he did!
God tells Hagar to go back to Sarah. (Can you imagine?) Then he tells her that her son will be a great nation. And her response?
Well, first, let’s think what my response might be…
“Sure, I’ll have this boy. Sure, he’ll be a great nation. But no. Absolutely NO WAY am I going back to be a slave in Sarah’s household. NO. I’m not going to look at Abraham and have my boy misaligned and ignored. NO.”
Hagar was in the middle of a desert alone. And she felt all alone. Trying to love and protect her unborn child. Alone and abused by her masters. Yet, God sees her. And comes to her. And she recognized it. She didn’t stay in her lonliness, she recognized and felt that God saw her and knew her. Instead, Hagar called God, “You-are-the-One-Who-Sees”.
Do you ever feel like Hagar? Trying to protect, lead and love your children? But feeling abused, on your own and helpless?
God sees. No, actually, God Sees. That is His name, The-One-Who-Sees (or in Hebrew, El Roi). In the midst of hard parenting days, overwhelming home life and outside pressures you can call out to God and say, “The-One-Who-Sees, help me! I know you see what I’m going through. Remind me of your constant watch over me. Let me walk and live in a way that relies on your sight and your help in my life. Thank you that I am never alone because you SEE me.”
The best part of the story is that when Hagar’s son was born she named him Ishmael which means, “God hears.” Hagar knew God saw her and she also recognized that He heard her. Hagar was essentially a sex-slave, abused and ignored by her masters. Yet, God saw and heard her. He cared about this small, unimportant woman. He had his eye and ear attuned to her.
His eye and ear are attuned to you, too. He is The-One-Who-Sees and The-One-Who-Hears. He sees and hears you today. Be encouraged and turn to your all-seeing, forever-listening God on those days when you feel alone and unseen. Look to The-One-Who-Sees!