PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’ve decided that social media channels are like fingerprints. Each one is unique. From the friends list to the Facebook pages that are “liked” to the groups that are joined— we create these customized reflections of who we are, who we know, and what we like.
But there’s one common denominator: on every page is a hope to be seen.
Let’s be honest with each other—how often have you posted something and then obsessively checked your notifications to see if people “liked” it or commented? We all do it. Because we crave approval (different topic, different blog, different day). And we also want to be seen.
In Genesis 16:1-16, we read of Hagar, an Egyptian slave who belonged to Abraham’s wife, Sarah (though at this point, their names were still Abram and Sarai). In a textbook moment of “getting ahead of God,” Sarai gave her slave to Abram as a wife in order to vicariously experience motherhood. But as is always the case when we try to do God’s job—Sarai’s plan backfired. Hagar got pregnant and while that had been Sarai’s original goal, it turned to resentment. Sarai took it out on her slave and Hagar ran away.
While hiding, Hagar was visited by the angel of the Lord. After being reassured and given instructions on the next steps, Hagar spoke some of the most hope-filled words we could ever hear. In verse 13, it says, “So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me’” (Genesis 16:13 ESV).
We have a lot to learn from the wisdom of a runaway slave. Hagar’s words address the common need of all people—a hope to be seen. And God’s promises to her are ones we can apply to our own unique situations. Because if God can find a runaway slave in the wilderness and give her hope, then we can trust that He knows exactly where we are, what we need, and He has our future planned out.
Like Hagar, we are seen by the God of seeing. We are seen by the One who looks after us. Even when He doesn’t change our situations and He asks us to do the hard thing and continue in difficult circumstances (as He instructed Hagar), we can trust that He knows and sees.
And as long as He sees us (which is always), we don’t need to worry about whether or not we are seen or noticed by others. The world we live in, including the social media world of our own design, will never see us or give us hope. Only the God who sees can make such an offer. And that offer is the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.
It’s up to us to take it.
Today, as you pray, thank God for seeing you. Thank Him that even when your future is uncertain to you, He already knows it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust in the God who sees and the one, true living God who offers the only hope we ever need.