Do you ever wonder if God can see you? I mean really see you?
I do. There are days when I feel like I'm invisible to God. Like I need to jump up and down and wave my arms and say, "Hey, God, here I am! Remember me? Hello???" Usually those are days when things aren't going well in my life. When life's problems are just too heavy to carry alone. Days when I definitely need to know there is a God who loves me, who's watching over me, working things out for my good even when it doesn't feel like it.
I need to know there is a God who sees me.
There's a woman in the Bible who knew what it felt like to be invisible. We don't know her name, but we find her story in Luke 8:42-48. The fact that her story is in the Bible tells me God definitely saw her. God knew her name. And she was so important to Him that He wanted her remembered through the ages.
"As Jesus was on his way [to attend to a sick little girl], the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her." (v.42-43)
Imagine the shame this woman suffered for twelve long years. In those days disease and illness was seen as punishment. 'Surely she must have been a terrible sinner and done something really bad' was the mindset. She was no doubt shunned because of this. She'd spent every penny she had trying to find a cure for her sickness but no one could help her.
I think a lot of us are in the same boat as that woman. We may not have a physical illness like she did--though many of us do--but a lot of us have other issues we're seeking cures for. Emotional issues. Relational issues. Financial issues. Sometimes we spend a lot of money searching out cures. Sometimes we spend a lot of time looking for a cure. Too often we spend a lot of ourselves searching for a way to fix things.
Those are the days when we ask, "God, can you see me?!"
Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, asked that question. In Genesis 16:7-13 we find her scared, hiding, alone. She's run away from life and is feeling invisible. But God saw her. Just like He sees you and me when we are scared, hiding, alone.
"You are the God who sees me," Hagar says in verse 13.
Jesus wanted us to know He sees us too. In Matthew 6 he's teaching the crowds. This passage is part of what's called The Sermon on the Mount. Notice what he says in verse 30:
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers--most of which are never even seen--don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?" (The Message Bible)
Think about all the millions and millions of acres of National Forest in the US. Or the jungles of South America. Or the African and Australian plains. Miles and miles of land where no one lives and not many people venture. Yet beautiful wildflowers grow there. No human eye will ever see them and take pleasure in them, yet God sees them. They were created for His enjoyment, not ours.
You were created for His enjoyment too! Even if you feel invisible to the world, you are not invisible to God! God sees you. He loves you. He has great plans for you.
The woman with the bleeding issue was tired of being invisible. She was tired of being sick. And she came to the understanding that there was only One who could heal her.
"She came up behind [Jesus] and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped." (Luke 8:44)
Imagine how her life changed in that moment! Imagine her joy of not being invisible anymore!
There is only One who can heal you. From your physical issues. From your emotional issues. Your relational issues. Whatever is in your life that is too hard to handle on your own. Whatever is in your life that is making you feel invisible to God.
Make no mistake. God does see you!
This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Denmark, Croatia, Malaysia, Turkey