God Doesn't See You

Do You Feel Like God Doesn’t See You?

Terri NidaBy Terri Nida8 Minutes

Article shared from Diary of a Quadriplegic by Terri Nida.

Have you ever felt that God doesn’t see you? That maybe he is not aware of how deeply you are hurting? You wonder why he is not healing your physical pain. You wonder why he is not restoring a difficult relationship in your life. I have felt those very things, on and off, since I started my Christian journey in 1989. I felt these emotions as an able-bodied person and then as a wheelchair-bound person for the last 10 years. I want to share the story of Hagar to give encouragement to all of us.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” So Abram agreed with what Sarah said (Genesis 16: 1-2).

In ancient times it was perfectly acceptable for infertile wives to give their slave girls to their husbands to start a family. In fact, the slave girl’s child would not only be the master’s family heir, the child would be recognized as the family’s legal offspring.

So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.  Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me” (Genesis 16: 3-5).

We have all had life circumstances that seem unfair. The first facility I lived in was a really horrifying experience. We had no way of knowing that when we were researching different facilities. It looked nice inside and out and was presented as something sensational. We quickly found out the aides were disrespectful and demeaning, and some days I would not even get a bath or be able to get out of bed and get in my wheelchair. Now, that felt very unfair to me.

Although I fought through the temptation to be bitter much of the time, there were dark nights when I would just question God about the purpose of my suffering. I was distraught and devastated.

Some of us have chronic pain or illnesses. Others have been completely blindsided when a spouse left without warning or was addicted to pornography, having an affair, or another devastating scenario. Some of us are unable to bear children, are just incredibly lonely, or are financially strapped to the point of ruin. Let us see how Hagar faced her trials.

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered (Genesis 16:6-8).

Why do you think Hagar fled Sarai? She was living in distressing circumstances and probably felt she could no longer take the abuse. The reality is, she had nowhere to go and probably just ran out of fear, not thinking about where she was going or the outcome of her actions.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count” ((Genesis 16: 9-10).

Hagar had to decide to trust God. The cards seemed stacked against her, and her future was filled with uncertainty, but she decided to trust in the words of God, and not her emotions. There is always a reason to persevere when facing trials. In this case, the angel of the Lord said he would make her descendants too numerous to count.

For ourselves, we know the Scriptures teach us that if we trust in him during an affliction, it stretches us spiritually and helps us to grow in our knowledge and insight of God. In James 1:2-4 the Bible teaches us that when we go through trials it produces perseverance and makes us mature and complete. I am so thankful for the things that I have gone through because it has increased my faith and given me compassion and relatability when I speak to others.

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).

Do You Feel Like God Doesn't See You

God sees us and he knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. All the days of our lives are known by God before one of them comes to be (Psalm 139:16).

He knit us together in our mother’s womb and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-16).

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:1-4).

Let us praise God through the hard times knowing he cares for us, he feels our pain, and he sees us.

Thank you to Ann Spangler’s book, Names of God, for the inspiration to write this article.