“I See You …”

“Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’” (Genesis 16:13, NKJV)

It is not always comforting to know that someone sees you.

When I enlisted in the Air Force back in the late 1960’s I was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX for basic training.

I really didn’t know how quickly things would change in my life … when I stepped off of the bus and these drill sergeants with wide-brimmed hats were already yelling at all of us.

It didn’t take long to become acquainted with my new best friend … the drill sergeant.

One particular trait that I noticed very quickly about him was that he seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.  Before being selected as a squad leader and being gifted with the duty of marching in the front of my squad, I was marching the first day or so back in the middle of the flight.

To my dismay, a persistent little fly started buzzing my face and landing on me.  Finally, he landed on my nose, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried blowing him off of my nose to no avail … I wiggled my nose to no avail … and then it happened!

Watching my drill instructor’s every move when I thought it was safe, I shooed the fly off and away with a swift hand motion! The fly left all right, but the drill instructor suddenly stopped our marching exercise … he started coming back in the flight to my row … and stopped right in front of my face!

I must admit I was literally shaking in my new boots. “Who do you think you are?” he screamed, along with some other language. I can tell you in all seriousness … I have never been talked to in quite that way … and to this day I still don’t know how he saw what happened!  But he did … and there was a price to pay!  I can assure you neither his presence nor his words brought comfort!

We seek comfort, don’t we?

If you stop to pause and reflect on even the smallest portion of Scripture that is affirmed throughout both testaments, the assurance that God sees each of us is comforting … or maybe disquieting depending upon what it is that “He sees …!”

Comforting indeed to Hagar. Heartbroken she heard her son’s near-death cry … and then experienced God’s mercy. “And God heard the voice of the lad.” Gen. 21:17

The scene is captivating … the visual of a mother and son alone in the wilderness … on the verge of death. Hagar had done all that she could do.

“And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, ‘Let me not see the death of the boy.’ So she sat opposite him and lifted her voice and wept.”  (Gen. 21:15-16)

The “God who sees allshowed her He was aware of her struggle and that she could trust Him to bless her without removing the struggle for her.

“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad to drink.”  (Gen. 21:19)

We need to be reminded of these reassuring truths often. The noise of the world … the whispers of the evil one … sometimes make it more difficult than at other times to remember these truths.

In a very similar way, this scene is reenacted far too often … parents see, know, and are disquieted in ways that are challenging to put into words when their child is in a place of indifference to or rebellion against God.

It is heartbreaking to contemplate your child facing certain spiritual death.

Comforting indeed to be reminded that we too can be assured God sees. We, too, can pray to God for His mercy and watchfulness to give that child safety and the opportunity to repent and change their direction. We must remind ourselves that God sees and hears the child who has walked away from God and family, and He does understand their confusion and He does know the thoughts of each of their hearts!

It is comforting to all when we see families whose parents are diligently teaching and training their children to be workers in the Kingdom. I have three such grandsons who are developing their skills and knowledge, making a study of God’s Word a part of every day.  I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving for each one of them! And for the many other young people who are doing the same all across this country. God sees each of you!

When we have done all we can do and shared God’s message of hope and love and forgiveness with our children … planted in their hearts His Word … seeds that can germinate and grow … we can and must continue to pray for them.

In those times … those moments … when we feel all alone … we are NOT alone! God sees us. He hears our weeping! Even as He did for Hagar and Ishmael … God will see us through the barrenness of the wilderness … whether it be Beersheba or simply life … anywhere in this world.

Be thankful for our merciful God who sees and hears!

 Bill Fairchild, Jr.

 Read Genesis. It will strengthen you!

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