Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are God Who Sees”; for she said, “Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]?”- Genesis 16:13
El Roi: The God Who Sees
After doing a Priscilla Shirer Bible Study a few years back, I’ve always had such a deep love for the story of Abraham. Okay so if you aren’t familiar with the story of Abraham, as it relates to he and his wife, here it is in a short form:
Abram (later renamed to Abraham) is super old and so is his wife Sarai (later renamed to Sarah). When I say old I am talking like 85 plus years old, and get this Sarah had never given birth. So since she felt guilty about not being able to get pregnant by her husband she asks one of her maids, Hagar, to go get friendly with her man. Hagar does as she is told and ends up pregnant, with a boy who is named Ishmael. He is Abraham’s first son. Hagar is now a single mother. Hagar begins to feel that she is being wrongly treated by Sarah. After all Sarah is the one who told her to go get friendly with her husband and now she issues her passive aggressive behavior. Hagar packs up her and Ishmael and runs away, as scripture says. There is where she has this first encounter with an Angel of the Lord. This is where she calls Him, El Roi. The Angel of the Lord tells her to return back and be submissive to Sarah. Yup, to the very woman who treated her harshly. God ends up paying a visit to Abraham where he tells him that his wife (as old as she is) will become pregnant. Sarah over hears what God has said and laughs because she knows that she is too old to have a baby. God holds to His promise as He always does and she ends up pregnant and has a boy. His name is Isaac. He is Abraham’s second son.
Later in chapter 21, as siblings typically do, Ishmael is caught teasing Isaac and honey Sarah wasn’t having it. She said to her husband Abraham that he needed to give Hagar and her son Ishmael, the deuces because she didn’t want him being an heir with Isaac. Abraham in much deliberation, listened to the voice of God and the next morning packed her and the son up and sent them on their way. Hagar in much distress due to the circumstances (they’d got lost in the wilderness and had nothing else to drink) lays her son Ishmael down and cries out to God that he not take his life in front of her. Once again, God sees her. God tells her to not be afraid for He has heard the voice of her son Ishamel. God instructs her to get up and take the boy by the hand and promises to make a great nation out him. God then opened Hagars eyes and she see’s a well of water.
While I can’t relate to having my daughter by a married man or even being kicked out of our place of residence with nothing more than the clothes on our backs and a bottled water, I can relate to being lost emotionally, spiritually and mentally at one time or another. I can relate to God opening my eyes and Him providing for us in ways that I would have never imagined.
Being a single mother is no easy task. It requires a lot of sacrifice, understanding, multi-tasking, and prayer to name a few. A lot more is done on your own then what people who either haven’t been raised by a single mother or found themselves to be a single mom, might even begin to understand. It was never a life that I dreamt of having but instead it was one that God purposed for me to have. He knew all that I would need from support, to time, to patience, to knowledge, to money and to love. I like to believe that I learn just as much about my daughter everyday as she learns about me. So, we’re both learning life together for each other at the same time.
I’m grateful for every encounter where God chose to open my eyes so that I could see the promises that He has for me and my daughter. If I had decided to keep my eyes closed (wanting to do things my way) or to not wipe away tears (many I’ve shed) I might have missed the miracles, grace and favor that He so beautifully placed on us to receive. I can never recall a time in my parenting where Raigan and I have ever went without. We’ve always had even when I had a lapse in judgment while being her mother.
There is so much that I want to give to my daughter and so much more that I want her to experience. I pray that I am a rare example of a woman to her, in many ways. One that she not only gets to call “mom” but call her a friend too. One where she learns the importance of a great work ethic. One where she learns the importance of being a risk taker. One where she learns the value in being creative. One where she learns to always speak up for herself. One where she learns the joy found in praying to God even when its hard. One where she learns to treat others in a manner that she would want to be treated. And one where she knows that throughout life no matter how things appear to us, that God is most certainly El Roi.
If you’re a single mom can you relate to Hagar’s truth?