“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15 NIV).
Let’s face it. People let us down. They disappoint us. And so does God. Often our experiences fall short of our expectations for God to meet all our needs the way we think He should, and like a lover who has been wronged, we tend to guard our hearts against future disappointment by lowering our expectations and trust. But make no mistake about it, God sees. God understands. He is not aloof.
One day I was sitting on the patio with my friend Beth and her stepfather, Sam, waiting for the grill to heat up before placing steaks on to cook. Beth’s mom opened the door and gave Sam his orders—telling him what to do and how to do it. When she went back inside, Sam made a hand signal, pointing in one ear and out the other. We all three laughed. Then he placed his ruddy hand on Beth’s arm, a hand worn by years of working under the hood of cars of every make and model.
“She was pretty hard on you growing up, wasn’t she?” he asked.
“You have no idea,” Beth answered with a sigh.
But Sam did have an idea. He understood. And that one simple gesture let her know that he had peered into her heart and had seen the truth. The weathered, country mechanic had looked under the hood of her heart with wisdom and seen the damaged engine within. A heart, though healed by Christ, that still felt the phantom pains of a little girl who felt she was never good enough, who was constantly told what to do and how to do it—and who never did it quite right. Sam saw her heart, and for that, Beth loved him. And so did I.
How like God. He places His hand on your shoulders, looks into your eyes, and lets you know that He understands. “I see you,” He says. “I see what you are going through.” Like Hagar who experienced a sudden glory moment with God in the desert; we too can know God as El Roi, “the God who sees me,” (Genesis 16:13).
The book of Hebrews tells us that we have a High Priest, Jesus, who understands what we are going through. He “sympathizes” with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15). The word “sympathizes” comes from two Greek words, smy and pathos, meaning, “suffer with.” We are not alone in our suffering and there are glory moments to be found in the dark if we will keep our eyes open to see.
God did not write the story of your life and then sit back to watch it play out. [tweetherder][/tweetherder]God is in your story with you. As a matter of fact, He has the leading role. Oh, we try to butt in and take the spotlight. We try to push Him out of the way and take over the lead. But when we get to heaven and look at the playbill, we will see that God had the leading role all along, and our names were there in supporting roles as a display of His glory.
Lord, I am so thankful that I have a High Priest, Jesus, who sees me, who prays for me, and who understands exactly what I’m going through. Help me to rest in the assurance that I am not alone, but in Your capable hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What Do You Think?ow It’s Your Turn
Read the story of Hagar in Genesis 16.
What did she call God after He appeared to her and encouraged her?
How does it make you feel to know that God sees you? Leave a comment and let me know.
I’ll go first: It makes me feel known.
If this devotion touched your heart, chances are you’ve got some hurt in your life. So let’s don’t waste our sorrows! What are you doing with the hurt? Using it for good? Picking at the scab and not letting it heal? Tough questions. If you’re ready to heal and use what you’ve gone through for good, then see my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past. It’s time to turn that pain into purpose!
Makes me feel he is always with me
It makes me feel accepted because He knows and understands my behavior even when I don’t….He gets it.
Makes me feel secure, knowing God is in control and by my side.
Makes me feel protected and right now, it also makes me feel chastised, but the chastisement brings about joy that HE cares enough to correct me!! Makes me feel Hope!!
It makes me feel that he’s by my side always he’s my protector too.
It gives me great comfort,knowing I’m not alone! I don’t share all my feelings with other and knowing that Jesus knows what I’m feeling,and here with me-fills my heart with love overflowing!! <3
This devo was exactly what I needed, once again. I was thinking some of these same thoughts yesterday during my time of prayer and waiting for an answer. And I had to keep reminding myself that God is commited to me and sees me and hears me and will answer, in His time. Thank you.
I have loved the story of Haagar for years especially after discovering my husband’s involvement with pornography. I felt so abandoned and ashamed. My beautiful family of 4 children and loving husband who I trusted completely with my life had a secret life and I was devistated. This was 14 years ago. We sought for help, but nothing worked. It wassn’t until 2 years ago when I saw the look on the face of my teenage son when I spoke harshly to his father that I didn’t want to go on in this way. I didn’t want him to think that wives were nasty and harsh. I finally found a counselor, and I have been growig slowly. I have had to set some ground rules for my husband which he has respected, but he is very good at turning the tables and making himself feel like a victim of betrayal. I used to get very upset about this, but now I know “GOD SEES ME” As long as I am faithful and honorable and kind and honest – speaking the truth in love – no matter what others may interpret – I know my ABBA sees me and loves me. I want to bear good fruit, I don’t want to be a victim any longer. I have a long way to grow yet and still have issues to deal with – but this message today just reinforces what the Lord has been speaking to me all these years – I don’t have to proove my innocence, I can just be myself and God will work out the rest. There is GREAT comfort in knowing , deeply knowind, God sees my pain and struggle and will hold me up as I journey to discover my duties as His child.
I feel protection, hid in His arms
Sharon, this message today was for me. It spoke to my spirit. Before I read this I was praying for peace in me because of my past hurts. I AM SOOOO TIRED OF CARRYING THIS HURT. The Lord is so awesome, I believe that he orchestrated this for me. Thank you. I feel His love for me & my spirit is rejoicing right now
TO BE REMINDED THAT GOD SEES ME GIVES ME COMFORT IN A VERY TOUGH TIME IN MY LIFE. UNCERTAIN FUTURE WITH NEW MEDICAL ISSUES ADDED TO MARITAL DIFFICULTIES WAS A HARD BLOW. THANK YOU FOR THE PERFECT STORY YOU SHARED TODAY WITH FULL GOD CONCERN. SOMETIMES I MAY HAVE A STRUGGLE WITH MY FEELINGS GETTING IN THE WAY OF MY TRUST IN GOD’S CONCERN WITH MY LIFE. I THANK GOD FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT’S FAITHFULNESS TO GET MY ATTENTION AND PUT MY MIND IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. THANKS AGAIN.
It makes me feel cared for, loved, payed attention to. Held, and able to release my sorrow and pain inside through tears because God understands what I am feeling and going through.
He makes me feel so loved to know He is still there when others have walked out on me and left me to die. God gently places His hand on me and says I am here and always will be through all of this. I so feel loved. Thank You Father
Sadly, I am Beth’s mom in this story, and I don’t want my husband and daughter to have this same moment later in her life (she’s 8 now). And I don’t want God to look at me with disappointment. It is a hard thing to admit because I honestly feel like I’m motivated by the love for my family, and I genuinely just want to teach them the best way I can. How can I stop being so controlling?
Right now to be honest I don’t know how it makes me feel. I know he’s with me, I’ve heard messages and people who love me tell me but right now I don’t know how I feel. I know GOD has been with me in the past but I’m trying not to doubt him now. He has to be with me because my prayers and thoughts are often times doubtful but he continues to send me scriptures and messages speaking on faith.
I’ve recently lost my fiance because of the selfishness of my daughters,and a relative who cosigned my girls foolishness. The heartbreaking fact is that they’ve been acting as if they don’t care about me for awhile but I continued to extend my hand to them. Now I’m alone, no prospective husband, no companionship and the only child that has stood by my side has been my son. My daughters resented me for having a life of my own with a man who truly loved me. So, now my fiance is mad and disappointed in me and won’t see or speak to me.
So in my opinion I’m the Biggest Loser and everyone won accept me. My relative who act as if they cared for me so much and had my back was jealous and hateful and had negative interferance with my relationship and my daughters., my daughters who have seen me sacrifice all of my life for them even into their 22yr old adulthood went against me. So all three of them won. My relative and my daughters. So in summary….I’m trying not to have my faith waiver, not to believe that GOD has forgotten about me, to keep my eyes open in this darkness of my life, to believe in miracles, to believe in restoration for myself as well as my relationship with my fiance and daughters. To have my Family back.
So I do I feel……………….I don’t know
Yvette, I am praying for you, for restoration, peace, love and joy in your family. Please forgive your daughters and your relative. Why did your fiance believe the and get so mad at you that he broke up with you? Maybe he isn’t as wonderful and loving as you think? Maybe some of it was a mask, and his mask slipped? All I know is that Romans 8:28 tells me that “All things work together for good for those who love God…” and Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Trust God in this. He will work it all out for good. You will look back in future years and see the good that has come from this situation. May God bless you and comfort you and give you peace.
He doesn’t just know “OF” my situation, but knows the intimate details and how it feels deep within my heart to me. the secrets things of the heart are no secret to He who created that heart. For all my days were constructed by Him before there were any.
Nothing is a surprise to Him and He is not indifferent to any of it but is in the midst of it with me, feeling it all with me!
What sweet solace this is to know!
It makes me feel like I’m not alone and I don’t have to do everything by myself.
It makes me feel wanted and loved. To think that I am that important to the Creator makes me speechless. I can only praise Him. I am reminded of Chris Tomlin’s song Whom Shall I fear. The picture of God being before and behind and the picture of His Angel army is just awesome. There is no more powerful image.
I want to let you know that I love all your devotionals from “Girlfriends in God”. I also purchase the app and I’m a bit dissapointed that this week I will be done with the 52 weeks. I share with others about the devotionals that you and the other ladies of GIG write about. There are days that it seems that you are writing to me especifically. Thank you for being led by the Holy Spirit and by touching and changing so many lives. I love the story of Hagar because it shows that God sees all that we go thru and that He is right there in the midst of it all. He is my “El ROI”. The God that sees and knows all about me and still loves me and finds me worthy of His calling.
Stay tuned for the GiG ap2. It should come out sometime this summer!
As usual your devotional today is on point and relatable. I was just thinking this morning how much people have disappointed me in life…and I was thinking how in the past I have backslidden because like you said I felt “like a lover who has been wronged…and I guarded my heart against future disappointment by lowering my expectations and trust.” I no longer trusted that God had my back and I stopped believing in Him because He did not seem to care about my situation.
Thanks for the reminder though that God “sees me”…He knows, he understands, he forgives and he loves.
God bless you….
It reminds me to be patient and wait on the Lord. He will be there for me
I know God is with me! I needed this so very much today! Although my heart knows, the flesh is weak and I sometimes struggle. Right now I am dealing with a “larger than life” issue that has hit me so very hard! Yet, I KNOW THAT I KNOW! I just needed to be reminded. I have a ministry of my own. I have lived through abuse. I have dealt with a chronically ill child! I recently gave a kidney to a man in our town! I have seen how big my God is and He is with me! Why do I allow fear to set in? Your devotion has given me my focus back! It’s back to HIM!!!!! Thank you!
In the past I have definitely felt God’s hand in my life and He has protected me so many times and been healing the past hurts. Even in the hard times I still just trusted him. But lately, I have found myself so weak in faith. Up until recently I’ve never found myself mad at God. My future husband was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease over the summer and lately it’s just been getting worse and worse. We have constantly been praying for his healing but nothing is changing. It breaks my heart to see a man who has always been strong and confident and such a Godly man following the Lord, and to see him being diminished to living his life that revolves around where the closest bathroom is… not being able to eat anything without rushing to the bathroom 5 minutes later. Or seeing him double over in pain because his stomach is cramping so bad. He’s been losing a ton of weight and has no energy to do anything because there are no nutrients being absorbed. This not only effects his ability to work and protect his community, but his ability to serve in church or other ministries, and then of course not getting to enjoy any of our favorite outdoor activities. I just break down and cry knowing the Lord CAN heal him, but is choosing not to. I don’t know what it is that God is trying to break in him or me, but I just wish I felt like a strong confident Christian woman, who is able to support and encourage her man. Any one reading this, please pray for my strength to overcome this trial, and to praise HIM even if the healing never comes.
Amen Dianne ! I know how you feel and as you know Jesus does too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Father God, I come to you in behalf of our sister, Dianne. Please strengthen her in her inner man to cling tightly to you during these trying times. Thank You that You are her strength and her refuge. Thank You that Your love for Dianne is great and deep. Thank You for Your Word in Deuteronomy 33: 26-27 that says “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you; And in His excellency on the clouds. 27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; (See also Psalm 91: 1-2) He will thrust out the enemy before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’ May Dianne be strengthened in her inner man to hold tightly to Your promises for her and walk daily with You – hand in hand, step by step, moment by moment. Please help her to know greatly Her God who loves her and is always with her, her Jesus/Savior Who died in her place, was raised from the grave, and ever lives to intercede for her. (Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” May she also know her Holy Spirit – her helper and so much more. Thank You, Father, for giving her mercy, grace, peace, strength, wisdom and all she needs to walk though this time in her life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
When I was a child, living at home, I could never do things good enough to please my father. I came home from school one day when I was in about 3rd grade, so excited because I had just learned to sing (memorized) “The Star Spangled Banner”. I excitedly told him “Daddy, I learned a new song in school today!” He told me to sing it for him. I began to sing it. He stopped me and said, “That isn’t a new song. That’s been around a long time.” And he walked away. I was crushed. Another time, in high school, I was drawing a picture for a report for Social Studies. It was a picture of a clapboard house, and I was doing a pretty good job! He looked at it and exclaimed about how good it was. I glowed. Then he noticed the same picture in the encyclopedia I was using to draw it from (I was freehanding it) and he said, “Oh, you’re not drawing it, you are copying it.” Again, he walked away, and again I was crushed.
I was doing the same thing his brother, a semi-professional artist, did. Uncle Bob would take a photograph of a barn and draw it from the photograph. I knew I was doing an awesome job, and that it took some talent to be able to reproduce that picture freehand, but it wasn’t good enough for my father. Those are just two of the many times he let me know I wasn’t good enough.
Yesterday during church and again this morning, I prayed and asked God to help me overcome my tendency to procrastinate. He showed me when I read this that I procrastinate partly because I a lazy, but mainly because I have believed Satan’s lie that anything I do isn’t good enough, so why try. And He told me, I am good enough!!!! Praise you God. You are the God who sees me!
Not only to be seen, but noticed and understood.
He gives purpose to my pain, especially when I DON’T understand, which is all I can say for the way things are in my life right now…
It makes me feel not alone. That God sees my pain and pours His love over me.
I want to go back in time to a time when I was so in love with God that I sat in church and He came by His Spirit and sat beside me. Before I switched on my computer I couldn’t stop thinking about that time! Then I read the title of the devotion and I knew God would speak to me :,) I cried when it sad about God put His hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. (I have been longing for God to be very close like that time.) Thank you God for that time. I just pray if God wills it will happen. I just feel very apologetic Jesus. I don’t know why I want these things to happen. I Want To See You! I <3 You ! I Want You! You've lovely xxxx Thank you. Your Daughter xx
This devotion reminds me that He not only saw me in the worst tragedy of my life, but He carried me, held me, guided me and healed me. He brought forgiveness into my heart and has enabled me to share the truth and desperate need for forgiveness.
And today, this devotion reminds me, when I need it the most, that it does matter that I continue to strive for integrity that honors God. Even when the place I work does not value integrity and actually penalizes you for having such a thing. Just the other day when I truly wanted to quit being a nurse, quit being a missionary, quit being a Christian, He was right there. He saw my discouragement. He saw my exhaustion. HE SAW ME…and He reached down and held me.
Thank You Abba Father, thank You, El Roi!
It makes me overwhelmed that He knows my longing for Him and He knows I want more of Him. I need You more Jesus because my life is nothing without You. I <3 you. You're the Best !!! Praise be to the LORD.
Knowing God sees my actions, thoughts, And desired out comes helps me escape the perfection I put on myself. At times I want the contro, but in mt deepest heart I know His way is better. He understands mt temptation to control. Oh thank you Jesus for the freedom to see the battle and Your caring love!
It made me feel that I’m not alone even if at times it seems that way and I know He is always with me no matter what and He always has been. He is carefully holding me in His loving arms even if I have failed at “guarding my heart” as He has instructed me to do. People who may cross our paths may not be who they claim to be and “act” in order to put a claim on our heart (s). I am putting all of my faith in Him as I have always done or at least thought i had done and have faith He will get me through some difficult times in my life that I am going through at this time. I praise and thank Him for HIs grace,His love,His joy, and His perfect patience.
As I read the statement on face book, instead of the word “understand,” I thought the word, “undertakes.” Our God undertakes for us. Jesus, our High priest, understands our weaknesses and intercedes for us. He has given us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us, guide and direct us, give us wisdom and a whole host of other necessities. I know so much intellectually, but have a hard time holding it in my heart and really believing and acting on it. Thank you, Sharon, for causing me to think about things and commit them to God in prayer. God bless you richly!
Its makes me feel worthy…..it guves me conformation.
Hi,Sharon,it make me feel known and visible.Because for so long i been invisible for the world including my family and closed friends,but thank God,He sees everything.Blessings thank you.
Even with loving parents I have always searched for someone that would understand me, love me for who I am, somebody that gets me….I knew who God was and believed His promises but somehow it always seemed like those promises were for other people, not me. I read a book several years ago about Hagar and her story spoke to me….she was rejected, didn’t belong, did not have a place she felt like she belonged….and God told came to her and told her, “I see you, I know you….I GET YOU!! Wow…..and today has been a real low point and I needed to hear these words from the Lord again!! Thank you Sharon; I know who loves gets me and He’s really all I ever needed.
Isn’t it cool God has used Hagar’s story to speak to you again.
HE makes me feel secured and knowing that HE is the OMNIPRESENT, I am not afraid of anything, I know more than 100% HE is with me through my trials and tribulations.
well at first the realization was eerie and embarrassing but as I grow to know The Lord, I’m sure glad he is watching and seeing me. It’s comforting.
It makes me feel hopeful because I can trust that God will work everything together for my good.
Thank you for this devotional. I was able to let go of some of the little resentments of my past. Somehow I was able to see truth in this devotion and for that I am happy
After years of failed friendships and relationships, feeling so deceived, I heard a recording of God’s Love Letter at a church prayer meeting. The meeting facilitator suggested we close our eyes and imagine what the narrator was saying. My heart beat quickened, I began sweating, and becoming more withdrawn in my body language. Being very aware of my extreme response to this, when asked by the facilitator to share, I explained that I felt terrified and anxious while others voiced more peaceful responses. I thought maybe something was wrong with me, but when I shared with a couple Sisters in Christ, they explained that it migh be a response to my past hurts. They said it was something only God could change, and they proceeded to pray for me. It’s been only a handful of weeks since that prayer and after reading your devotional I felt I do want God to see me, all of me, because he, above even my parents, has my best interested in mind. And as you said he not only watches over me, but is in this life with me hand in hand in the leading role. He’s not a director, he’s the star yet he has a grand plan for his supporting actress. Something about that comforted me. Unlike my parents expectations of perfection in more of the directors role, my heavenly Father knows this life is not about living up to a standard its about loving, loving, loving a most worthy Father and allowing him in to love me.
Right now it makes me feel secured, safe and loved by my Father. I feel His arms around me and His voice softly and lovingly whispering ‘it’s okay, don’t worry I’m with you and I won’t leave you. I love you so much and I want you to know that you are precious to me, my baby’. This morning I received blessings from friends, love messages and I thought to myself, God still loves me even after my stuffing ups. How awesome and overwhelming is that…
It makes me feel loved because if somebody looks into your heart, they understand you, and if a person understands you, you feel loved.
It makes me feel known and loved.
Today I was down because of some issues going on in my life. Just finished praying and checked your post and God spoke to me that He sees and understands. Thanks Sharon! Blessings!
It makes me trust God more and know that each prayer is answered!!!
After reading this post, I feel so much better. I was feeling disappointed about a certain situation and feeling bad that my faith seemed to wavering. It’s good to be reminded that God sympathizes with us and understands our disappointments. I needed that today.
It makes me feel hopeful and secured
It makes me feel safe.
My husband is in a nursing home and there are times when I feel so alone after 54 years of marriage. But there are articles like this that help to remind me just how much He really is with me going through this most grief stricken time in our lives. I have ordered the book “Your Scars are Beautiful to God” I pray it will help me to walk through this and discover more of His faithfulness and love for not only me but for my husband and family. What makes it so difficult is he had a stroke and is paralyzed on his right side and cannot speak. He becomes so frustrated and angry because he wants us to understand. To me it is an impossible situation But I Know with God all things are possible. I pray HE restores what the canker worm has destroyed before either of us go Home to be with Him.. II would like to hear his voice clear and resounding as I once did again. Thank you and God bless you and yours.
I must be honest, sometimes I do wonder if God really sees me. Things are very difficult in my life now. It’s not the first time for difficult times. I have always trusted God, even when the situation looked so bleak. I do deep down in my heart know God loves me, sometimes I wonder why. I love our awesome God very much and I seek him daily. God loves me even when I am questioning “why”? This makes it easy to love God!
I loved this post. It makes me feel good enough, protected and love. Things I didn’t feel growing up or in my teens. God bless you!
It gives me confidence
I just read your post from Jan 14 I am struggleing with 100+ plus pounds of excess weight and also suffer from 2 chronic illnesses. I know I stand in the way of Gods helping hand. I often ask for his help and then take control myself. I am so grateful for all the people he has put in my life. I have many advantages and support systems in life that many people don’t have how do I get out of Gods and my own way?
I am blessed, lifted and re assured that God is with me always irrelevant of the odds, limitations and challenges the devil throws at me. I remain unshakable. Marian.
I just read this and can relate but still can’t stop being “disappointed in God”. Never living up to my mother’s standards, abused by her boyfriends while she allowed it & then taking care of her when she fell apart when MY husband died 14 years ago only to finally have to walk away from her should be enough to make me give up. But add to it being terrorized by my deceased husband’s adult son, having frivolous lawsuits filed against me, then loose everything financially, and loose my health, I still can’t feel the “arms of God” around me. I did in the past and I keep reading it but just can’t feel any longer. I can’t read another thing. How do you get back the “love of God” when you have never truly felt what love is at all?
Had WWII traumatic early childhood, losing parents & baby brother at age 3. Raised by evil, angry, jealous, wicked, abusive, cruel,condeming aunt, who never wanted me! Became suicidal over and over. Took 30 sleep pills when rescued by 911, with intention of taking 60 ! Had 5 kids, and very abusive first 2 husbands! Could not be normal mom to one twin, but never got help. Hospital delivery Dr. should have offered critically needed counciling! Aunt had kept me in dark, cold basement last 6 yrs. before age 18. Had intensive counciling finally, but life still gave me misery, sorrow, loneliness, separation, disconnection with needed family, and depression. Finally got BORN AGAIN, then made into NEW PERSON by GOD, enabling me to FORGIVE & LOVE EVERYONE!! Became strong christian, however still struggling with some prior life problems, extremely hurtful, stressful, discouraging, depressing, condemed, lonely, etc. even though married. Causing increased illness as well. Need christian friends living in new area. Welcome realistic christian advice. One daughter died young. However, must be grateful to God for some awesome miracles thru life! Thank you for this opportunity to share. Thank you for any prayers! Amen!
Reading this made me feel loved, protected and secure. Realizing I need to place my trust in God. He has led me this far and has blessed me with this job, he will not abandon me. I made a mistake at work, it was not intentional, I have been praying that those affected will forgive me, but most of all I need to forgive myself.I am so afraid that this mistake will cost me my job. I am having some trust issues from my former job. I need to trust in God and not be so anxious. God is a God of second chances, I pray those at work will give me a second chance.I am tired of looking over my shoulder and being so anxious. God sees me! He will protect and led me where I should be.
My scars are beautiful in His eyes.
This article came at the right for me.
I just got up from bed pondering over the dream I had. In the dream I told a friend of mine who is also believing God for more children not to bother herself with what the world has to offer but we should rather enter a covenant with God just like Hannah and the others did .
Like you said Hagar called on to God in her deepest need and He answered. We have to let go and let God.