Recently, I’ve been having some sleepless nights. This is a rare event for me—the gift of sleep is something I have enjoyed since I was a baby. After Sean died, several of my friends, (who are doctors), offered to prescribe me something to sleep. I told them no, I would be able to sleep— and I did. I have been given the gift of sleep.
I am not sure why now, of all times, sleep alludes me. Perhaps, my anxiety levels are so high, that sleep is not a gift I am enjoying these days.
I have been reminded of a story in Genesis, chapter 16. (My daughter and I read this story recently, as we are reading through Genesis.) These words struck me again, as they have many times in the past:
“You are the God who sees.” These are the words of Hagar, Sarai’s slave, whom Sarai gave to Abram as a wife, so Sarai could get a child from Hagar. (This is the first recorded event of a surrogate mother.) Hagar did get pregnant, and the Bible tells us that Hagar despised her mistress, because Sarai could not get pregnant. Sarai treated Hagar harshly, so Hagar fled from her. Hagar ended up alone in the desert, probably facing death for herself and her unborn child. An Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and told her to go back.
Hagar was astounded by the thought that the God of Heaven and Earth, would notice her and her plight—that He saw her.
The first time this story struck me, I was 23 years old, and I had moved to Columbus Ohio, starting my first job after graduating from college.
I was so lonely and felt so friendless; I read this story in Genesis and thought that even as God saw Hagar, God saw me. That thought brought tears to my eyes. God was seeing me!! I was not alone; God was with me!
(I love how the Bible does not sugar coat situations or people—people are presented with their flaws and foibles. They are presented as people needing the Savior who is to come—in the Old Testament; and the Savior who came—in the New Testament.)
Hagar’s words— “You are the God, who sees”, reminds me that nothing escapes God’s attention. He knows when a sparrow falls from the sky, and how many hairs we each have on our heads. He knows each star by name, and the number of grains of sand on earth. He is the God who sees.
I have been hearing stories of people dying, (not just by the COVID-19 virus, but just dying). Stories of women being pregnant, and fearful for their babies and themselves. Stories of parents being fearful for their children. Stories of children being fearful for their parents. There is a lot of fear these days. Maybe it has been there all along, but now it has made its way to the surface.
Hagar also said, “Truly here, I have seen Him who looks after me.” Genesis 16:13
God does more than see us, He looks after us. He takes care of us. I need to remind myself of all the times God has taken care of me and my family. God does not change. He is the same today, as He was yesterday, and will remain the same tomorrow. He will continue to take care of me and my family. He will continue to take care of you and your family.
I hope to remind myself of these things. (Maybe, I will relax enough to be able to sleep.)
I hope to remind any who read this—that the God of Heaven and Earth—is the God who sees and the God who takes care of us.
May we find peace in this thought. May we find peace in Him!!
May we be encouraged!!