By Megan Evans
I’m really forgetful. I forget to take my medicine, I forget to give people back things I’ve borrowed, I forget to return phone calls – the list could go on and on. But I’ve been learning lately what I am most forgetful of and it’s the most worrisome of them all.
I forget who God is.
I have all this head knowledge of who he is and could easily spout it out to you like familiar song lyrics. But do I really and truly believe who it is that I’m speaking to when I start to pray? When I worship? When I tell a friend what he is doing in my life? Or do I let routine rule my heart?
I needed and will always need a reminder of who God truly is and how he cares for his children. Thankfully, he has revealed everything we need to know of him on this side of glory in his living and active Word.
The God Who Sees
So she named the LORD who spoke to her: “You are El-roi,” for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?” (Genesis 16:13 CSB).
Hagar was a woman weighed down with her circumstances. She was pregnant with Abram’s first son, Ishmael, and Abram’s wife was hateful toward Hagar and mistreated her because of it. While we could dive into a lot in this story, what is important to notice is what happens when Hagar runs away from these circumstances. I don’t know the exact thoughts going through her head when she ran away, but I can assume that she was filled with dread, fear, and worry of the future. She had just run away from everything she had ever known, a slave pregnant with another woman’s husband.
But God sees her.
It says in verse 7 that “The Angel of the Lord found her.” God comes to her in the form of an angel and talks with her. He meets her where she is and lets her speak what is on her heart. Because of this, Hagar calls him “El-roi” or “God Sees Me.” The ESV says “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
I forget that God sees me and looks after me. Often when I pray, I feel like I’m praying to the air or saying words aloud to myself. I have to reshape my thoughts and heart, remembering people like Hagar, to remind myself that I am praying to a real, living God who not only hears every word and thought, but cares to. He sent an Angel of the Lord to Hagar and he sent his only Son to die for me to prove it.
The God Who Knows
Lord you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
you understand my thoughts from far away.
(Psalm 139:1-3 CSB)
Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
(Psalm 139:7 CSB)
We all have a desire to be known. We want our parents to notice us hit our first t-ball. We want our best friend to watch us slide down the slide for the first time in the park. We want to be a part of the homecoming court so everyone in school knows our name.
No one has to teach us how to want to be known. God knows us in a very different, intimate way though. He knows every thought. He is able to search our hearts.
We can’t escape his Spirit or his presence and we don’t want to. God’s presence in our lives today is a very real person that walked on this earth, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose for us to be with him again one day, it was to bring us into relationship with the Father.
The gap that sin created was fully taken on Jesus’ bloodstained body. When God looks at us, he sees his Son, so we no longer have to fear that he sees our guilt and shame but can rejoice that he sees a perfect Savior.
I can convince myself that there are a lot of things in this world that can fully know and see me, but each leaves me broken and empty. I’ve convinced myself that my boss’ approval at work is the way to be seen. I’ve convinced myself that people on social media know who I am through my posts.
I’ve convinced myself that buying enough clothes and things will get people to notice me. I’ve convinced myself that sex outside of marriage was how to get someone to fully know me.
I have forgotten and will continue to forget who God is.
But praise the Lord that he has not forgotten me. He sees me and allows me to have a relationship with him, just like Hagar, no matter my shameful past. He has searched me and known me, just as David spoke of in his psalm. He has seen me at my worst – apart from him. Yet he still wants a relationship with me and has graciously given me that chance through his Son.
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 CSB)
Thank you, God, for becoming sin for us through Christ. Thank you for giving us your righteousness.