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?’
How is life, friend? Is it good? Is it rough? Are you confused? Scared? Alone?
Are you joyous? Celebratory? Excited about things to come?
I don’t know how life is for you in this season. I don’t have to know either. But I do know that life can be frustrating at times. Maybe we find ourselves in a mess of our own making. Maybe in a mess of another’s making. Whatever the case, I want to write to you who are confused. Scared. Alone. In a rough season of life.
I know your pain. I know the frustration and fear. The anxiety and confusion. I know what it’s like. Albeit I don’t know what it's exactly like for you, but I do know how it has been for me and so I empathize and sympathize.
More importantly, God knows what it’s like. Jesus was the suffering servant who experienced rejection, loneliness, hate, and more (Is. 53). Not only does he know what it’s like, he also sees us in our distress. And this reality is why I love the story of Hagar.
She was an Egyptian slave girl with a sketchy past and a tough situation. She ran from her problems and more than likely experienced loneliness, fear, rejection, and confusion. Her only gameplan was to run. And yet, the Almighty saw her and met her in her distress.
Hagar’s story was messy and we would, regrettably, likely shy away from someone who has a similar story today. However, God was not surprised or embarrassed by Hagar’s story; neither is he surprised or embarrassed by your story or current situation.
On the contrary, dear friend, he knows where you are. He knows your pains and frustrations. He knows your emotions; he knows your fears. Wherever you find yourself today, take heart! Your God is the God who sees! There is no darkness so dark that he cannot see you. There is no window so foggy that he cannot see through. There is no situation so messy that he won’t touch.
He sees you in this moment with the tear in your eye as you ask if he has forgotten you (Ps. 22.1). He takes note of your fears and concerns and notices every tear you cry (Ps. 56.8).
If you feel he has lost sight of you, cry out and speak to the God who sees. He will speak in the proper time. His silence does not mean he is ignoring you or that he is unconcerned. Rather, he is always at work, revealing to you your need for him.
Know that he sees you and stay the course, dear friend.
On the Journey,
Read Genesis 16.
Pray and thank God that he sees you even when you can’t see him.
Calvary: Earth's greatest tragedy! Heaven's greatest triumph! --Adrian Rogers
It seems to me that there has been an increase in the highlighting of Christ’s physical suffering at Calvary. This is not a bad thing—after all, the Gospel writers devoted attention to the physical nature of what happened. For both the original audience and us, we are reminded that the Crucifixion is a historical event and that a real Jesus died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and ascended to the Heaven (Luke 22-24; Acts 1).
I fear, however, that in speaking so much of the physical aspect of what transpired on that Hill so long ago we lose sight of the spiritual truths at play. That’s what I want to focus on: 1) What happened at Calvary? 2) Why it still has bearing on our lives today.
In the interest of transparency, I’ve given a great deal of thought this year to what happened at Calvary and why it’s important today. As I have pondered these things, I am amazed that a tragedy-triumph can have so much bearing on us all these years removed—and that’s part of the beauty.
So, what happened at Calvary? In broad-brush strokes, Judgement, Forgiveness, and Redemption.