Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 196

From Handbook to God’s Promises


The Benefits of Being Seen
(Genesis 16:6–14)

If you are walking down a crowded sidewalk in midtown Manhattan on your way to a lunch appointment, “being seen” has relatively little value. Why? Because you don’t feel lost. If New York City is your home, you have friends there, and you are (or at least feel) secure in that environment.

But if your situation in life changes—perhaps you are adrift on a disabled boat a few miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean—“being seen” may become your highest value in life. You wave frantically at every blip on the horizon or in the heavens, hoping to catch someone’s eye. Once you have caught the attention of a search plane or a passing vessel and you see it turning back in your direction, you know you are safe because you have been seen. Being seen by someone with the power to save you is the same as being saved—you know it’s only a matter of time.

On one occasion, a lowly and forsaken woman in the Old Testament was feeling like a shipwreck survivor. Adrift on an ocean of sand, this servant woman had fled from the security of her mistress’s home. But it was not only she who was lost—she undoubtedly worried for her unborn child as well.

This servant woman, Hagar, had become pregnant by Abram, her mistress’s husband. (This was culturally acceptable as part of an ancient marriage tradition when a wife was infertile; see Gen. 16:2.) Resentment flared between the two women (16:4–5), and Hagar was driven away. But Hagar’s plight caught God’s eye, who sent the angel of the Lord to save her and to restore her to Abram’s family. Hagar called God “El Roi”—“a God who sees.” Even though she may have been lost in her own eyes, she was not lost in God’s. He saw her in the middle of the desert and cared for her.

Perhaps you have felt emotionally shipwrecked, or lost and abandoned in a wilderness of circumstances, feelings, or conflicts. Don’t despair in those situations. The same God who saw Hagar sees you. Nothing—and no one—escapes His attention. To be seen is to be found, and to be found is to be safe.

God’s Promise:
No matter how alone you feel, you are never out of His sight.