How to Know You are Loved and Seen

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was almost 20 years ago. My husband and I moved to a new city and we were looking for a new church. After visiting several churches, we found one we thought would work for us and our family. We began attending the church and I decided I was going to attend the ladies Bible class on a Tuesday morning. I believed the ladies class was a great place for me and my young son to get to know some people. I went to the class and sat down between two young moms, It became very obvious that they were good friends as they began to talk to each other. They did not say one word to me, but proceeded to have a conversation around me like I was not there. I have never in my life felt so invisible. I went home, cried and thought I would never return to that class because I felt less lonely at home by myself than I did in that class that day.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever been in a crowd and felt invisible? Have you ever felt alone and felt like no one cared or even knew you existed?

There is a woman in the Bible who felt that way. Hagar, the maidservant to Sarah, believed that no one loved her and no one cared. Hagar had good reason to feel that way, because that was how she was treated.

Hagar’s story is recorded in Genesis chapter 16. Abraham and Sarah could not have any children because Sarah was barren, but God had promised them many descendants. How do you have many when you can’t have one? After many years of struggling with infertility, Sarah devised a plan where Abraham would have a child through Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar. Sarah believed that she and Abraham would build their family through this Egyptian slave girl, but Hagar did not want to give her baby to Sarah. The conflict in the household became so great that Hagar ran away.

Hagar, a pregnant slave girl who was living very far from her home land, was so desperate to get out of that household that she ran away. No plan, no place to go, no money, no food and no one to help and Hagar was on her own. She was unloved, and she had people in her life who only wanted to use her for what she could give them. Hagar must have felt invisible.

Tired, hungry and alone Hagar found herself in the desert. That’s when God showed up. This is how the scene is described in Genesis chapter 16:7-13.

“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.  And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the Lord also said to her:“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Hagar was so overwhelmed by this God who saw her that she gave him a name. Can I venture a guess right here and say I think maybe this was the first time in her life that Hagar felt like she was not invisible. She found one who saw her and cared for her and when she did it changed her life.

Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God is looking. He saw Hagar alone in the desert and he sees you wherever you are, whatever you are struggling with today.

When have you discovered that God loves and cares for you?
What does it mean to you to know that God sees you?

Please leave your comments below.

If you want to read more about Hagar and some other wonderful women of the Bible check out my book Used by God. You can read an excerpt on my website