But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand. -- Psalm 10:14
You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry -- Psalm 10:17
Can You See Me Now?
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Producer
Ring … Hello?... Hey! How are you?
It was the voice of my best friend. I knew from her tone that it was not good news. She and her husband have been trying to have a child for the last four years. She recently learned that she was pregnant and was being monitored closely by her doctor. But her latest test results confirmed her worst fear. After only a few weeks of being pregnant, she lost the baby.
Why is God letting this happen? she asked. I know that I shouldn’t, but I get so angry when I open the newspaper and read about the children that have been neglected or abused by their parents. And countless other babies are aborted here every day. We would raise our children in a loving, godly home. Why won’t the Lord give us a child?
I didn’t have any answers for her. I’d been praying for her continuously through this long journey. But it seemed like my prayers were going nowhere.
Beep -- It was the call waiting feature on my telephone.
Hi honey, it’s mom. I need you to pray for someone. Remember our neighbor’s son and his wife that we’ve been praying for?
She passed away this weekend. The funeral is tomorrow. Please pray for her family.
I never met Tim’s wife, but I have been praying for her for a while. Shortly after they married, she began to experience pain and numbness in her legs. Soon she was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After she became pregnant the disease spread rapidly. Now, after battling the illness for more than two years, the Lord had called her home. She was 29 years old. She leaves behind her husband and their 10-month old baby.
Beep – another call.
Hey, it’s Michelle. She sounded depressed.
Keith and I broke up.
Not again, I thought as she told me the details. I was sure this one was “the one.”
Michelle is a beautiful, godly, thirty-something who is single and longs to be married. She has done what most Christian women consider to be all the “right” things while waiting for a husband. She has prayed fervently for the man who will one day be her spouse; she has allowed the Lord to work through any “issues” in her own life that could impede a relationship; and she has tried her best to delight in the Lord and use her many talents to serve Him even while she is in this waiting period.
But today she is feeling hopeless and vulnerable.
What if I never get married? Is that what God wants for me? I feel so lonely.
I didn’t know what to say to her.
Lately it seems like God has put me on hold. When I pray for my friends I feel like I’m hearing nothing but elevator music on the other end. Perhaps comparing my prayer life to an earthly phone call is simplifying faith too much, but that is the way it has felt in recent weeks.
None of the previous conversations took place at the same time. No, I didn’t rudely answer another call in the middle of my friends’ darkest hours. But all of the conversations have taken place during the last month. And after time in prayer for each one, I was left asking God the same question my friends were: Why?
God, don’t you see their situations? They want to honor you and continue walking in faith, but it is becoming difficult. Why aren’t you responding?
God never answered my “why.” Instead He brought to mind the story of Hagar from Genesis 16.
It reads like an episode of Days of Our Lives. When Abram’s wife Sarai found that she was barren, she decided to have her maidservant Hagar have a child for her. Once Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child, tension rose in their home. I don’t know if Hagar was gloating over her pregnancy, or if Sarai was merely surprised at the envy she felt once Hagar’s belly began to grow, but in a jealous rage Sarai abused her servant and Hagar fled to the desert.
It was there, alone in the sweltering heat, that Hagar had an amazing encounter. Scripture says, “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert.”
She had not vanished from God’s sight. He saw the abuse that she endured, and He compassionately reached out to comfort her.
Hagar sums up this encounter well when she dares to give God a name.
“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’ (Gen. 16:13).
I sensed that God was telling me, I see them. I see your friends, and I know their trials. I love them even more than you do, and I have great plans for them.
I felt more peaceful when I “hung up the phone” with my Heavenly Father that day. And though my heart is still heavy for each of my friends, I know that their situations have not escaped the gaze of our Lord.
Our loving Father never abandons us. Indeed, He sees each of us and cares for us deeply. There is no situation we will ever face that could escape God’s view.
When we don’t understand His reasons or His timing, it is then that we must trust His heart. God loves us more than we could ever understand, and He is always at work in our lives even when we can’t see it.
Are you waiting on the Lord for something today? Do you feel like He has forgotten you? I can’t answer your “why” questions, but I can say with assurance that God has not turned His eyes from you or your circumstances.
There is a verse that I go to again and again when I or my friends are feeling despair. Psalm 34:18 promises, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Be encouraged brothers and sisters in Christ, and hold tight to your faith even in the midst of trials. Remember, we serve “the God who sees.”
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Meet Him today.
Comments? Email me
More articles by Belinda on CBN.com
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