January 17, 2017. Genesis 16-18.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Have you ever felt like the tree in the forest, falling, who nobody hears or sees.
In chapter 16 Hagar’s story is told. Sarai has not had any children up until this point and wants desperately to have a family with her husband. Out of this desperation she offers her maid Hagar to Abram in hopes of having at least some semblance of a family. Abram takes Hagar as his wife and she becomes pregnant. Instead of uniting as a family unit (sister-wives style) the pregnancy in turn causes unbearable tension between Hagar and Sarai.
Hagar finds herself in an insufferable situation and so she flees to a spring in a desert. She’s in the middle of nowhere, silently suffering. What happens next you ask? Well the question first posed in this writing is answered, that’s what happens. A woman silently suffering in the desert was seen and heard by a loving God.
The angel of the Lord finds her in the desert. He tells her how the Lord has heard her misery and instructs her to return home where He will increase her descendants immeasurably.
Verse 13 is when Hagar grasps one of the characteristics of God:
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.”
Just pause for a moment and really think about that statement. “You are the God who sees me.” Sure, God is omnipotent; He sees all and knows all. But He also sees YOU. Just you. He sees your suffering, He knows what you long for, what you fear, and what you need. He knows you more intimately than you know yourself, and He cares.
There’s always that one tree on a hike that has some conspicuous feature to it, the tree that you use as a landmark because you would never forget what it looks like. When God walks through the forest of people He has created, you are that tree.
Following after God’s plan for your life will not be a walk in the park; Hagar still had to return to the drama that was her husband and sister wife, but it will always be rewarding (whether on earth or in Heaven).
Whatever you might be going through right now in your life, the silent battles you are fighting, know that God sees you and hears your anguish. Bring them to Him in prayer, and trust that He is on your side.
God already sees you, make sure you are always trying to see Him daily as well. It’s no small thing spending time in His word daily, and carving out time to hear from Him. Continue seeking Him, and He will continue to show Himself to you.