Have you ever felt lost, even while in a large crowd, almost like you were invisible? There are people all around you, but still you feel lonely. Have you ever felt alone and isolated, seemingly forgotten, as if “out of sight and out of mind” was really true? Is it as if you are walking alongside the road all by yourself? Today we want to share the story of a woman from the Old Testament who felt that way, until she had an encounter with God.
The woman is Hagar. You probably know the story of Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis chapter 15 God promised Abraham that He would bless him and make him into a great nation. In fact, God promised Abraham that his descendents would outnumber the stars. Ten years passed and Abraham and his wife Sarah were still childless. So, like most of us would do, they began to have doubts and they decided to take matters into their own hands.
In Genesis chapter 16 the story continues, and we read that Sarah tells Abraham to sleep with Hagar, their Egyptian maidservant, and perhaps it would be through Hagar that God would fulfill his promise of making a great nation. Abraham slept with Hagar and she got pregnant, and as you might imagine, this caused great tension. Sarah began to mistreat Hagar so Hagar packed her bags and fled, returning to her homeland.
In the ancient Middle East, women got their value through their husband. Women were not held in high esteem at all, but a married woman held more value in society than a single woman, and an unmarried pregnant maidservant would only be valued slightly more than the dung from the donkey on which she rode. So here we have this unmarried pregnant maidservant sitting in the desert, likely feeling very scared and very alone. It is here that as Hagar sat alone near a spring in the desert that an angel of the Lord shows up and has a conversation with her. And it is also here that Hagar comes to the realization that she is not invisible or forgotten, and she says this, “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’” (Gen 16:13)
So today, whether you feel lost in a crowd of eighty thousand people, alone in the desert, or by yourself on the road, please hear this… God loves you, and not only that, He knows you, He sees you, He cares for you, and He has plans for you. And just like Hagar, regardless of your current situation or circumstances, right here, right now, God says to you, “I see you!”
Imagine the joy in knowing that God Himself sees you! You are never out of His sight! Do you believe that today?
New Bern, North Carolina