God Sees You and Me {Leila, Hagar, Honduras, and You}

We walked from home to home. Some wooden structures and others constructed from tarps and other fabrics.  At each home the owner greets us with a smile.

This village is special.

In March, the friendship of two little Honduran boys, Alan and Mario, compelled a group of missionaries to build a house for Alan’s mom who lives here.  It’s now June and another group is checking in with her, giving her food.

Leila welcomes us into her 16X16 home, thanking us for returning, thanking us for her home, thanking us for food.  She’s anxious to show us her cooking area and bedroom. She’s hung pictures on the wall and decorated with Christmas ribbon.

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Leila is so proud of her home.

She shares how her life is different since she’s been able to move from a tarp home to a wooden one. While thankful for her home, some of the changes aren’t so great.

Leila feels forgotten.  Alone. The boys’ dad is gone.

She knows God.   She shows us the Bible from which Alan reads aloud to her since she’s illiterate. She has heard the gospel and thanks God for his provision.

Still….

She feels forgotten. Alone. 

My friend picks up the Bible from which Leila and Alan read. We begin flipping through Genesis, locating the story of Hagar- the one who feels forgotten.

Hagar was the servant of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. God had promised Abraham a multitude of descendants.  But, after waiting 10 years, Sarah remained childless.  So according to custom, she gave Abraham to her servant, Hagar. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, and fourteen years later, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. But Ishmael mocked Isaac, so Sarah asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. When God confirmed Sarah’s wish, Abraham sent them off with water, and they wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (Genesis 21).

15 When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.

17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt. Genesis 21: 14-21

My friend reads Hagar’s story to Leila, reminding her that God sees her just as he saw Hagar.

 

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God rescued Hagar and Ishmael, making Ishmael the father of a great nation (Genesis 17).

Rescued them.

We all come to a place in our lives at least once – often many times – in which we feel alone. Forgotten.

And in that moment, we are hoping, praying for someone to rescue us from loneliness and perhaps despair.  We need someone – anyone – to notice us and all we’ve done well.

Just like Leila and Hagar, we desire to know God sees us.  God had promised Hagar five chapters earlier to give her a son who would father a great nation, and in that moment, Hagar had thanked Him for being the God who sees her.

“She said, ‘You are the God who sees me…’” Genesis 16: 13

Before Hagar cried out in the wilderness so many years later, God had already seen her…promised her…rescued her.

So it is with those who know Him.  Long before we cry out in the wilderness, feeling forgotten and alone. God has seen us and sees us.   He rescued us with His death on the cross thousands of years before we were born.  He gave us the promises in his Word long before we knew Him.

Now we can live rescued, knowing He’s there when we feel lonely.  He will never leave or forsake us.  He didn’t leave Ishmael or Hagar.  He didn’t leave Isaac, Abraham, or Sarah.  God hasn’t left Leila or Alan.  Nor has he or will he leave you.

You’re not alone. You’re not forgotten.  The Creator of the Universe has rescued you, and he’s with you. Always.

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