The God Who Sees Me
One of my favorite places in the world is St Simons Island. As soon as I cross the bridge and arrive on the island, all the stress in my body seeps away. It’s the only beach community I would ever want to settle in.
I have passed the sunbathing, ocean-swimming days. Now, I am satisfied walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset. You know what I like to do? I like to go out at low tide, but instead of looking for shells or sea creatures, I like to squish my toes in the sand and let the salt water rush over my feet. I enjoy looking out over the Atlantic to the horizon and watch ships and sail boats pass by. Here I feel truly free. And, I feel close to God.
As I stood there with the water washing over my feet and ankles, looking up into the sky, I felt so small. To think the God of the universe, who created all this beauty and the vast Atlantic was there with me, looking at me, loving me.
I have an old Bible my husband gave me for my birthday on March 24, 1989 (he was still my fiancé until June 3rd). In it, I have written many notes, dates I wanted to remember and the names of God. I pondered one of these names as I stood on the beach, El Roi, the God who sees. I’m sure you remember the story of Hagar in Genesis. Hagar was the handmaiden of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Sarah mistreated her when she found out she carried Abraham’s child (even though Sarah came up with the plan), so Hagar ran away. In the wilderness near a stream, the angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her about Ishmael’s future. Humbled, she said, “You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Isn’t it amazing that no matter where we are, what we’re doing, our God sees us? He provides just what we need, sometimes before we ask or even know what we need. Later in Hagar’s life, God was there with her and Ishmael in the desert. He provided water and encouragement when she had given up hope. And just as He provided for Hagar and her son, He provides for us today; he directs our path and is always there to listen. It is hard for me to comprehend a God so big, who created the universe yet still takes an interest in our lives and wants to have an intimate relationship with us. How He must miss us when we do not take time out of our day to be alone with Him! I cannot imagine not talking to my son every day. I know he will move away soon to go to graduate school; and I also know that if he doesn’t call me, I’ll be calling him (I’ll try not to call every day). It puts God’s love for each of us in perspective, doesn’t it? And we don’t even need a phone when we talk to Him! I hope you’ll remember to keep in touch with our heavenly Father. He is always near. He is El Roi, the God who sees me. And you.