Today’s thought is shared by Carren Marvin…
PRAYING FOR MEMPHIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2019
THE GOD WHO SEES
“You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me” (Genesis 16:13)
One of my favorite glimpses into the kindness of God comes when Isaac is a little boy. Sarah is celebrating, along with others who have RSVPed for the Weaning Party that Abraham is hosting, when she does a double-take and sees Ishmael—the son of Abraham and Sarah’s servant Hagar—laughing. Sarah nurses the ugly in herself and tells Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael.
To his credit, Abraham at least sends Hagar off with food and water, but that disappears quickly in the wilderness of Beersheba. Hagar now faces the most haunting of all motherly angsts: the pain of seeing your child suffer. She places little Ishmael under a bush for some shade, steps away, and waits for him to die.
Though grieved to the core, Hagar surely recalls a tender moment when Yahweh—the God of Abraham and the much-awaited child of promise, Isaac—reached out to her. You see, she’d been sent away before by Sarah. Pregnant with Ishmael, she’d heard the voice of the Lord God reassuring her as she lay by a well in the wilderness. Hagar’s faith was boosted by having “seen him who looks after [her]” (Genesis 16:13).
So a few years later when Hagar is cast out yet again, she lifts up her head and cries out, likely remembering this God Who sees. He is her only hope, and He does not disappoint. Not only does he manifest water to relieve her and her child, but he grows Ishmael into a nation of his own.
Dear Lord, when I am in what feels like a wilderness, please remind me of Your love and kindness. You are a God Who sees, and I am ever under your watchful eye. Amen.