My Daddy's Eyes

My Dad's portrait hangs in a prominent place at a lifecare center he helped to start. As I walk out to my car after visiting there, I always go by his very lifelike picture.  One of the traits of this portrait that has been commented on by many people is that his eyes seem to follow you as you walk by. Though my dad has been in Heaven for 10 years, I still imagine his watchful eyes on me as I walk by.

One of the issues that I have struggled with over the years is feeling that God is there and sees me but in a very distant, uninvolved way. Through much turmoil in my adult life, He seemed very quiet and uninvolved; I felt that He was leaving me to figure it all out on my own. There was a quiet desperation that dogged me as I stumbled through all the pain, almost  hopeless that this life would get better. I knew that someday I would get to Heaven and all the tears would be gone, but it just seemed as if I went from one bad time to the next to the next.

Our perceptions can be so flawed! Nothing was further from the truth - Father was not distant at all! In fact, one of the names of God is El Roi, mentioned only one time in the Bible, meaning "The God who sees."  Genesis 16 is an example of people taking things into their own hands and not waiting for God's timing. Abraham and Sarah desperately wanted a child and decided to have Abraham get Sarah's maid Hagar pregnant. God had already promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sands by the sea and the stars in the sky, but as he and Sarah aged, their faith was severely tested. When Hagar became pregnant and ran away from Sarah's anger, God met her with promises for her future. Hagar recognized the truth of what was spoken to her. "The God who sees" was the one who preserved her life and the life of her child. "The God who sees" would fulfill the promise to give her so many offspring that they could not be numbered. Hagar exclaims, "Surely here I have seen him who looks after me (Genesis 16:13)."

Does God seem far away from you right now? Are you struggling with feelings of abandonment due to situations you can't control that are hurting you? Father is as close to you as the air you breathe. He sees every hurt, every fear, every worry, every heartache. When the answers don't come when we want them to come, remember that His timing is perfect. After all, Abraham and Sarah were both beyond child-bearing age and yet He blessed them with Isaac. God kept his promise to Hagar to found a great nation from her son Ishmael. El Roi, the God who sees, sees you and loves you unconditionally.

"Never once did we ever walk alone,
Never once did You leave us on our own.
You are faithful, God, you are faithful."

                                  Matt Redman