Do you ever feel invisible? These days, given our social distancing rules, that can be even more of a struggle for some. Develop a chronic or disabling illness and many people will steer clear of you. Have a struggle with mental illness and even your family might stop calling. Have a child with profound disability and people will start to look past you, unsure of what to say. Lose your money or your job and, in the eyes of many, you will quickly become a number, a case, not a person. More than one elderly person has told me how they feel like living ghosts, forgotten by the world.
The worst, however, is feeling as though God has forgotten us. That’s a real issue as this crisis drags on. There nothing wrong with you if your heart cries for solace, if you are feeling alone, perhaps even forgotten. David, the poet/king who knew God so well, cried “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?” (Psalm 13:1, NLT)
You are not forgotten! You may feel as though you are. The enemy of God and good will dance on that theme, for nothing serves his purposes any better than increasing your sense of isolation, which is fertile soil in which fear and despair can grow.
In Genesis we meet a young woman named Hagar. She was an Egyptian slave girl to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. When Sarah thought she was too old to have a child, she gave her servant girl to Abraham to be a surrogate. How awful was that, though not uncommon in that era. After becoming pregnant with Abraham’s child, Hagar offended Sarah. Was it Sarah’s jealousy? Was it Hagar’s mistaken assumption that she was secure since she was carrying Abe’s baby? Whatever the cause, she found herself thrown out of the household.
Abraham abandoned her and left her deal with the abuse of Sarah. In time, she choose to run away, a choice of sheer desperation, knowing that she would almost certainly be enslaved yet again. Sitting alone and afraid by a spring, she met God who spoke to her heart with promise! Amazed that the Lord would take note of a slave girl, Hagar gave God a Name – El Roi– meaning, “The God who sees me.” (Genesis 16) She found courage in that to return to her situation and work through it, hard as it was.
My prayer for you today is that you will realize that no matter your status, your troubles, your challenges – YOU are not invisible to God! I pray that you will know Him as “El Roi” – the God who see me! When we know that God cares, it may not immediately change our situation, but it changes us. In Him we discover worth, dignity, and resources that allow us to press ahead.
If you are feeling invisible, consider how personally God knows you. Jesus says “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-32, NLT)
Our word from the Word is a comfort. Meditate on it for a while today.
“Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what he commands…
When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous …
They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:1,4,7-8, NLT)
Look up and wait for El Roi – the God who sees me!
(take a few moments to soak your soul in this song)
The Lord bless you and keep you
Make his face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
The Lord turn his Face toward you
And give you peace
May his favor
Be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family
And your children
And their children
And their children
May his presence
Go before you and behind you
And beside you
All around you and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In the morning
In the evening
In your coming and your going
In your weeping and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you
Chris Brown | Cody Carnes | Kari Jobe | Steven Furtick © 2020 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Kari Jobe Carnes Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Worship Together Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Writer’s Roof Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)
CCLI License # 810055