Day 28: “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.” (Gen 16:13)
This verse is one that became important because it brought back to mind a couple of things that happened few years back. One was a conversation that I had with a friend while walking around Greenlake about the desire to “Know and Be Known.” She shared how this concept was becoming increasingly more important to her – in her relationships with friends and family but also in her relationship with God.
We talked about how we all say we want to know others and be known by them but that it actually takes a lot of vulnerability and intentionality to get to that point. And that the same thing can be true in the spiritual side of things. That for us to truly know and be known by God requires us to remain open and honest before Him too. So this whole idea really began to resonate with me as well.
Then, not too long after that conversation the following verse came up as a key one in my church’s Lenten Devotional: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). That particular day’s devotion asked these questions; “What emotions are stirred up in you at the idea that Jesus knows you? What is it like to be known?” Well, because of that previous conversation my emotions were stirred, I can tell you that!
I don’t remember exactly what my answer was at the time but I do recall that it was a good reminder that God does know me completely already. But that it is also my job is to listen and respond to His voice in my life. Because some of the other questions in the Lenten Devotional were these: “How tuned in are you to Jesus’s voice? What other voices drown out His voice?” Again, the whole idea that to “know and be known” by others takes time and effort on my part.
Coming across this verse in Genesis 16:13 recently brought all these ideas back up again. It was so important for Hagar to know in this story that God saw her – in the midst of her pain and suffering, in the midst of her brokenness, in the midst of her despair. Why was it so important for her to be seen? Because is was in God truly seeing her that she realized He also deeply cared for her.
And so it can be in our own lives. How often do we stop and truly see those around us? And yet we need to realize that until we do take the time to really get to know them, it is impossible to truly care about them. So good for me to be reminded of all of this!
“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.” (Gen 16:13)