I have always loved studying the names of God. I'm so fascinated by the fact that God chose to reveal Himself in so many different ways throughout scripture. From Genesis to Revelation. we see God sovereignly display His character to people at exactly their point of need, leaving them forever changed. Monday, I encountered in a new way El Roi-the God who sees me.
The original story is found in Genesis 16. To make a long introduction short, God promised Abram (later called Abraham) that he would become the father of many nations. Abram and his wife Sarai (later called Sarah) were "well along in years" and had no children. Sarai took matters into her own hands and gave Abram her servant Hagar as his wife so she could have children through her. Later, Hagar becomes pregnant and runs away from Sarai because she is being mistreated. Genesis 16:7 says Hagar was found by a spring of water in the wilderness "along the road to Shur." Interestingly, the word "Shur" means "wall." Hagar was, quite literally, on the road to nowhere. She was heading for a dead end...a wall. The Angel of the Lord speaking to her tells her she is pregnant and that she is to name the child Ishmael, meaning "God hears." After this, Hagar said, "You are the God who sees me...I have now seen the one who sees me." She was known. The God who saw her in the wilderness saw where she had been, and saw where she was headed as well.
Monday, I encountered afresh "the God who sees me." Not because I am on a road to nowhere. Not because my back is against the wall. Perhaps I just needed a reminder that the God who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME is the God of my WAS, my IS, and my IS TO COME. As I have been on this Homeland Ministry in preparation for my time in Uganda, I have learned more about trusting Jesus with my "is." He truly knows my need. He knows where I lack faith. And He knows the exact moment to "show off." Monday was one such day. Just a few short months ago, I dreaded getting the weekly e-mail update on my ministry account. Recently, however, I have seen Him develop my team of prayer partners and financial supporters, and I have grown to rejoice in Mondays because it gives me the chance to praise him for His tangible faithfulness. As I opened my e-mail on Monday, my jaw dropped, my heart may have stopped, and I am still recovering. (I'll spare the details, but it is quite an amazing story if you wish to hear it.) I praise God and am truly humbled to say that I am officially over the 10% mark. Some may say, "You still have a long way to go." And I see that. But I have seen the God who sees me. He sees my need.
It's just one area of my current reality, but as I thought of it later, I realized it is applicable to so many other areas. The God who is vigilantly watching over my "is" has been working overtime to restore some things in my "was," and giving me promise and vision for my "is to come."
Ours is a God who sees. He doesn't see us because we're important or because we're really amazing to look at. He sees us because it's His nature to see. It's who He is. As I have studied the names of God in the past, I always ask the same question after understanding who He is: What does that make me as a result? If He is the God who sees, I am seen. Sought after. Paid attention to. Looked after. And so are you.