by Christina Rose
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 NIV
When the Lord told Abram that his heirs would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and he would have a son, it seemed impossible. He and his wife Sarai were childless and well beyond child-bearing years. Their son Isaac would eventually be born, but they became impatient, so Sarai told Abram to sleep with her slave, Hagar, thinking to build a family through her.
Hagar conceived and the two women started bickering out of pride and jealousy. When Hagar ran away to the desert, the Lord saw her lonely, wounded heart. He sent her an angel who told her that her unborn child was a son, whom she would name Ishmael (which means “God hears”), for the Lord has heard of your misery. Genesis 16:11 NIV. Then he told her to return to Sarai and promised that her descendants would also be as numerous as the stars.
When my daughters were young, we frequently enjoyed a picnic at the Zoo. One day we were at the ground level gorilla enclosure, where only a pane of glass separated us from the animals. I was holding my baby on my hip and my toddler by the hand, when a gorilla mom with her baby on her hip sauntered over. She stared deeply into my eyes as if to say, “We’re the same, we’re mothers.” My eyes popped open as I felt I heard her heart and then hers popped open in surprise as if to say, “This human mama sees me!” We showed off our babies to one another and she sweetly stared into my eyes a last time before wandering off.
On another occasion, a juvenile chimp pressed his face against the glass in front of a group of children. He was moving his mouth rapidly, and the children were laughing at him and slapping the glass. It occurred to me that he saw our mouths move while talking and possibly thought if he moved his mouth like us he could talk to us, too. I told the kids to stop teasing him; the young chimp just wanted to be our friend and talk to us.
When we see with the eyes of our hearts, we are better able to see the hearts of all God’s creatures.
Each year we journeyed down the California coast to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. One year, as we entered the Aquarium, I sensed extreme panic and fear. It was so intense that I couldn’t ignore it, so I asked my daughters to follow me as I led them in the direction it seemed to be coming from. We made our way through the tightly packed crowds and I then spotted a tiny, terrified toddler hiding under a stairwell, crying in desperation and curled up in a ball. I didn’t want to alarm her so said, “I know your mama is searching for you. I’m a mama too and these are my daughters. May we stand here to make sure you’re safe while you wait for your mama?” She sniffled and nodded, and within minutes, screams of “Emily, Emily!” resounded through the building. Little Emily then scampered out from under the stairwell and raced towards her very relieved family.
If all the world could open the eyes of their hearts to see as God sees, there is no limit to the good works we may do for his glory. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18 NIV).
The God who sees meets us in the desert, in the valley, at the Zoo and the Aquarium and anywhere else he chooses. God sees each of us and chases us down when we feel unloved, lost and unworthy to lead us into his marvelous light. He knows our hearts and works continuously to help us grow in faith, so that we may help others see the glory of his riches in Christ Jesus.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.
Join the conversation: Have you ever had a moment when God showed you His perspective?