O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.Psalms 139:1-4
As we turn our attention to the story of Hagar in the book of Genesis, we see a woman who was forced to flee her home and wander in the wilderness, alone and vulnerable. But in the midst of her suffering, Hagar discovered something remarkable: the God who sees.
Hagar was the maidservant of Sarai, Abram’s wife. When Sarai was unable to conceive a child, she took matters into her own hands and gave Hagar to Abram as a wife, hoping to have a child through her. But when Hagar became pregnant, tensions rose between her and Sarai, and Hagar fled into the wilderness.
In the midst of her despair, Hagar encountered the angel of the Lord, who spoke to her and gave her a message of hope. In Genesis 16:13, Hagar responds with these words: “Thou God seest me.” This simple phrase is a powerful reminder of God’s compassion and provision in the midst of our suffering.
The story of Hagar is a reminder that God sees us, even in our darkest moments. He sees us when we are alone and vulnerable, when we are suffering and in pain. And just as He saw Hagar, He sees us and provides for our needs.
But the story of Hagar also reminds us of our responsibility to see and care for others who are suffering. In the New Testament, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), and the apostle Paul reminds us to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We are called, to have compassion on those who are hurting and to offer them hope and encouragement.
So what can we learn from the story of Hagar? First, we can learn to trust in the God who sees us, even in our most difficult moments. We can take comfort in the fact that He knows our struggles and is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Second, we can learn to see and care for others who are suffering. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus, offering help and support to those who are hurting. We can also offer them the hope and encouragement that comes from knowing the God who works through us.
The story of Hagar is a powerful reminder of God’s compassion and provision in the midst of our suffering. It reminds us that He sees us, even when we feel alone and vulnerable. And it calls us to be like Him, to see and care for others who are hurting. May we be a people who trust in the God who sees and who show His compassion to those around us.