She was in excruciating pain. In her early seventies, she slowly walked in front of my car using a walker. As I waited, I wondered about the possible source of her pain. By the time I had pulled into my parking space the Lord had spoken to me. He wanted me to pray for her. Truthfully, the thought came to my mind, “Do I have to, Lord?” I knew I did, and deep down inside I wanted to; but I wondered if she would be receptive, or look at me as if I was from outer space.
After parking, I walked up to her and told her I could see she was in severe pain. I asked her if she had been in an accident, because we were in the parking lot of a physical rehab center. She told me she had simply raised up from a sitting position, when the intense pain struck her knee. She had torn the meniscus, the cartilage cushion which protects the bones in the knee joint. The injury left her with bone rubbing against bone. She was scheduled for surgery in a few weeks.
I told her I would like to pray for her and asked if she was comfortable with sharing her first name. She said her name was Pat, and gave me permission to pray for her. I sensed, however, she was very uncomfortable with the notion, so I did not ask to hold her hand or to touch her. Instantly, as I began to pray, the Lord reminded me of a scripture passage dear to my heart, Genesis 16. It is the story of Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maid. I told Pat that the Lord saw her pain. He caused me to see her pain, and asked me to pray for her. He is the God who sees.
Genesis 16:13-14 “So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]? Or have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me? Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi, [A well to the Living One Who sees me]; it is between Kadesh and Bered.” (AMP) (Please read the entire chapter to get the whole, incredible story).
Then I prayed 2 Chronicles 16:9a over her: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him.” (AMP) I told Pat of God’s great love for her. I prayed for Him to heal and restore her knee, then went on my way. I do not know if she was healed in that instant or will be healed later. I have learned it is not up to me to heal someone. It is my job to hear from God and obey, pray a prayer of faith, and leave the results up to Him.
The first time I studied Genesis chapter 16 was in 1979, during my second year of Bible Study Fellowship. I had grown up attending church all my life but I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord. I wasn’t even saved. I believed God existed but that was the extent of my faith. The year before we studied the book of Matthew for 9 months. I began to understand the Gospel and see that the Lord loved us and cared about our daily lives.
Months after studying about Hagar, I had an incredible opportunity to personally experience the God Who sees me! My husband, Larry had built three homes for the company where he was employed. They were down the street from where we lived. He had maintained the yards himself and I kept the houses clean while they were listed on the market. His schedule got extremely busy and he was not able to mow the grass for several weeks. I decided I would bless him so I took our lawn mower down the street. I began the pains-taking task of mowing the 8-12” high grass.
I happened to be wearing a very special pendant necklace Larry had given me which was very precious to me. The self-propelled mower kept stalling in the high grass so I leaned in to help push it. When the mower jumped, the controls caught on the chain of my pendant and it fell down into the tall grass. Immediately I stopped the mower and knelt down to look for my pendant. After several minutes, the task seemed impossible and I began to panic. It was a partly cloudy day and the clouds made it more difficult to see clearly. I tried to borrow a metal detector from neighbors but the battery was dead. Frantic I went back to the yard and began to cry. By now an hour or more had passed. As tears were pouring down my cheeks, I remembered El Roi (Hebrew), the God Who sees me!
I knelt down on the grass, bowed my head and prayed to El Roi, one of the names of God from Genesis 16. I told Him I had lost a special piece of jewelry my husband had given to me and asked Him to help me find it. I also told Him I knew that one of His names was El Roi, the God who sees. I knew He could see me and where my pendant had fallen. I asked Him to please show me where it was. I ended my prayer with Amen and opened my eyes. Because I was bowing, my eyes were looking downward into the grass when I opened them. The clouds had parted while I was praying and a ray of sunlight shone down on the ground right before me. To my awe and wonder, something sparkled down in the grass. It was my pendant!
I began to thank and praise the Lord as I plucked the pendant and gold chain out of the tall grass. I was so amazed that the Lord heard my cry and answered so quickly. That day I knew He cared what happened to me personally, and believed His eyes were truly on me.
Over the years I have learned more and more about the incredible love of God for all of us. I have also learned that what concerns us concerns Him. That day He was not only El Roi, the God Who sees me, He was also my help in the time of trouble. Psalm 46:1 “God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.” (AMP)
I do not know what is happening in your life today, but God does. What I do know is He sees you and your situation. I also know He is filled with compassion and loving kindness for you. If you are tempted to give up in despair, instead, I encourage you to put your trust in the God Who saw Hagar, Pat and me. Ask Him to intervene in your situation and bring restoration and healing in your life. El Roi is not only the God Who sees me, He is the God Who sees you!