Have you ever wondered if God notices you?
As I wrote in my post, No Other, I simply don’t remember ever questioning the existence of God or His role as Ruler over all creation. Yet as true as that is for me, I remember wondering if God ever noticed me down here.
Privileged to get to travel by air as a youngster, I often searched the high altitude cloud banks and sunny blue heavens hoping to catch a glimpse of God. Maybe I could wave and He would see me. Perhaps an angel would fly by, see me in the window, and mention to God that He saw me.
Remember I was just a child. These imaginary conversations often played through my thoughts…
“You know that kid that dreams dreams and lives in her wild imagination? Her name is Lisa. She lives in Miami. I looked her up. She’s always hoping You will notice her.”
I think subconsciously my opening question lay at the root of my desire to go back to California. Specifically, Victorville, California. It’s my birthplace recorded on my birth certificate and passport, but only home for a year. Like searching for the missing puzzle piece, surely, a visit to the land of my physical roots would bring resolution.
Resolution to a question buried deep. A question I had not given much thought, yet apparently still bubbled under the surface like molten earth under the San Andreas fault.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
Would the Lord meet me there in the desert? Had He known me as a baby girl? Was God pleased to notice me? And had He already determined then to call me by name until I bent my heart and my knee to His Sovereign love and grace?
As I stood on the edge of the mountain in the Mojave Desert overlooking the valley where I first entered the world, I sensed the Lord’s presence. In the exhausting heat gazing upon a drab brown landscape, I was reminded of the story of Hagar in Genesis 16.
Hagar had become pregnant by Abram as the result of Sarai’s scheme to provide her husband with an heir. God had promised, but Sarai was tired of waiting. Unfortunately, her impatience and Abram’s compliance created division and dysfunction in their family. Manipulating circumstances to help God’s promises be fulfilled never turns out for the best.
Oppressed and unguarded, Hagar ran into the wilderness. It was there in the barren land, feeling completely alone and forsaken, the Lord encountered Hagar. He asked her what she was doing? Her answer was honest and God’s response was tender.
God showed kindness to Hagar as He revealed to her His plan to bless her child for generations to come. Though she had sinned against Sarai and was hiding, God made sure to notice her with mercy.
From that day forward, Hagar called the name of the Lord, El Roi – the God who sees me.
The funny lesson I brought home as a souvenir is the acknowledgement of how often I have hidden from God because of my sin. Like a child wanting the attention of her parent for being good, but then hiding in her closet because of shame. I see it now completely uncovered as my heart lays bare before it’s maker.
God wants me to know, and you too; He notices us ALL the time. When we’re not hiding He’s delighted with our desire to be seen. And when we’re hiding from God, He stands with arms of mercy open wide and ready for us to draw near in repentance.
That’s how I see it. What do you think?
Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,