“I find that people often expect too much from people and too little from God. Only God can be God & people can only be people.” –Christine Caine
I expected empathy. I expected nods of affirmation that I wasn’t alone in my struggle, a warm exchange of words after leaving my heart lying there on the floor.
What I didn’t expect was silence. But it’s what I got.
Immediately, I wanted to retract my words. I wished there was a delete button, but this wasn’t a hasty post on Facebook. It was a plea for comfort, and there was no taking it back.
Instead of turning to the One who knew me best, I sulked. I sat in the recliner eating dark chocolate, robotically scrolling through pictures on Instagram. I retreated to my pit of gloomy thoughts and self-pity until, like any good Father, God gave me a swift kick in the pants to snap out of it.
I realized I’d been looking to others for the peace only God can give. I realized I expected too much from others who were struggling to find their way just like I was.
Most people see only a reflection of the person we truly are, but God sees our whole being.
He sees the imperfections, but he also sees the person we are becoming. He sees the struggle, but he also sees the refined, beautiful masterpiece on the other side of it.
I turned to the pages of Genesis and found the story of Hagar. A woman who felt forgotten. A woman who was obedient to her master, Abraham, even to the point of conceiving a child for him a child out of wedlock, and was then shunned for it. (Genesis 16:5-6)
As she ran into the wilderness to find solace, she thought no one saw her or knew her pain. But God did.
He not only knew her ache, but he knew the blessing waiting on the other side of it. He came to her in her weakness and her vulnerability, and told her what she needed to hear the most.
He saw her. He knew her. He wasn’t going to abandon her or shun her.
His encounter with Hagar impacted her in such a profound way that she gave him a new name: The God Who Sees.
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
Friend, I don’t know what you’re going through today. I don’t know who’s disappointed you or made you want to lock away all your secrets, vulnerabilities and struggles so that no one can ever see them or judge them.
But can I tell you something? God sees. He sees your heart, scars and all, and he loves it just the same.
Don’t write off friendship or authenticity. Both are sacred, crucial elements of this thing called life.
But remember there’s only one person who sees us completely. Come to him with your scars, and let him bathe you in the healing salve only he can provide.
*Linking up with these communities: #TellHisStory