A God Named Elroy?


I received a gift this week.

I’m involved in a study at work and lead groups as a function of that study. This week was my turn to be observed by one of the study experts.

She is someone I deeply respect. She knows what she’s talking about, carries herself with humility, and is bright and articulate. When she showed up in my class, I was working hard to rise above illness and the stress of a long day full of changes at work. Distraught not to be at my best, I decided just to focus on my group and do what I do.

When she and I met after the group left, she spoke for thirty minutes about all the things she saw me do right! In detail, she described methods I use with the group that casual observers wouldn’t notice. She saw all the challenges the group presented and the ways I had worked to overcome them.

I left our meeting feeling as though I’d been given a great gift. And I had. The gift of being seen.

It got me thinking about the up side of serving a God who sees.

Too often, we’re only reminded that God sees everything when we’re being scolded or cautioned to behave.

The wonder of having a God who sees is that He knows every unseen moment when we’ve chosen well. He sees every private decision to rejoice in the midst of trial, to endure in the face of long-suffering, to hope when all seems hopeless, to praise when the darkness threatens to overwhelm.

He sees your heart. He knows what you set out to do even when it runs amuck. He hears your prayers and sees your hours in the Word. He appreciates your attention to detail when everyone else has gone home. He sees your work late at night when others are asleep.

He knows the unkind, angry words you swallowed rather than allow them to escape. He sees your faithfulness when others would have given up. He sees what others don’t when the doors are closed and there is no audience.

He sees and He will remember. He holds it all in store for that day when you will see Him face to face and He will tell you all that He saw in you – sees in you still.

There should have been no one less important in Biblical history than an Egyptian slave girl named Hagar. She served Sarah, in the household of Abraham and in human terms, she was no one.

When Sarah wearied of waiting to conceive Abraham’s promised child, she devised a plan born of impatience. In the tradition of the time, she told Abraham to impregnate her servant girl, Hagar, who would then give birth in her name.

Even when Hagar conceived, she was no one – simply a vessel for Abraham’s seed. When she started to act as if she was someone, Sarah set her straight by abusing her, with Abraham’s blessing. What did he care about the vessel? All he needed was a child.

Hagar ran away.

But in her desert, Hagar discovered that Jehovah was not just the God of Abraham and Sarah. He is also the God of nobodies. He is the God of people no one else notices or sees or hears.

He was waiting for her in the desert and told her that He saw what was happening and that she would bear a child and he would be named Ishmael, meaning “God hears.” (for He had heard of her misery)

In the desert, Hagar calls God “El Roi.”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

We don’t serve an idol who is mute or blind or deaf. We serve the living God who sees and hears. We are forever in His view and even when we are feeling our sorriest and our lowest and think no one else can possibly see us, we are wrong. He does see.

And one day, we will receive the gift of what He has seen in us and we will never want anything more.
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3 Comments

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  1. Carmen says:

    Awesome post Lori, and a good reminder that how we need to see ourselves, is in Him!

  2. Wow, this is so incredibly encouraging! I have shared it with a group of ladies I know who are living in such horrible conditions and still struggling, in their own imperfect ways, to honor God. I know it will encourage them, too.

  3. P.S. I just think I should tell you that your blog is, far and away, the one I “share” most with others!