Have there been times in your life when you’ve felt rejected?
There have certainly been times in my life’s journey when I have felt completely invisible.
When I lived overseas, there was a particular person in my neighborhood who never acknowledged my presence when I was around. She never gave me eye contact. She never spoke to me, yet casually carried on conversations with others when I saw her on the road or passed by her home.
I was told by neighbors that she did not like me because I was “different”. There was no question that I was a foreigner in unfamiliar territory. I completely felt like a fish out of water, well aware of the fact that I did not fit within the culture of my temporary residence.
Though I was seen, I felt overlooked and rejected. I spoke a new language, but felt unheard. There were days when I felt like a part of me was fading away, like pieces of my identity were morphing into a person I did not recognize–but no one seemed to notice.
There were days when I simply felt…forgotten.
Have you ever felt slighted by someone? Abandoned?
The pangs of rejection cut deeply into our hearts, often leaving deep wounds that make us question our own self-worth and value.
One particular woman from Scripture may have also felt invisible and unseen in a strange land. A foreigner from Egypt, she became the maidservant of Sarai (later known as Sarah), the wife of Abraham.
Understanding the Story of Hagar
Her name is Hagar.
Due to the infertility of her mistress, Hagar became the helpless victim of incomprehensible circumstances. Without her consent or permission, Sarah prostitutes Hagar’s body to Abraham, expecting her to bear a son to carry on the lineage of her master’s name.
Now pregnant, broken and used, Hagar looks upon Sarah with sheer contempt (and can we blame her?) Later in Genesis 16:6, Hagar flees her home, escaping the mistreatment of her bitter and barren mistress.
Left alone to die in the desert, Hagar must have felt completely abandoned and rejected. Forgotten and forsaken.
Comfort from El Roi–the God who Sees
But as she sat by a cool spring in the midst of the harsh heat of the sun, she experienced a divine encounter. The angel of the Lord pursued her, and called her by name.
“Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
In the middle of our distress and desperation, God pursues us and calls us each by name. When you feel invisible and forgotten by others, know that he calls you his beloved child.
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“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
Hagar answers the Lord, telling him that she is running away from her mistress (Genesis 16:8). Within this divine interaction, the angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return to her master’s household, and that the son she will bear will be called Ishmael, which means, God hears (Genesis 16:11).
God does not call us to return to physically abusive relationships, but there will be times when he calls us to endure seasons of great difficulty.
He never promised that life would be easy, but he did declare that he has already overcome the world (John 16:33).
In the midst of our pain, God pursues us.
He calls us by name and hears our cries of distress.
But not only does he pursue, call, and hear us, he sees us.
Hagar responds to the Lord by saying,
“You are the God who sees me…I have now seen the One who sees me.”
That is why the spring of refreshing water she sat beside was called Beer Lahai Roi—
which means Living One who sees me (Genesis 16:14).
Have you felt forgotten lately? Come and drink from the well of the Living One who sees your every hurt. In those moments when you feel unseen, rest in the arms of the One who will never forget or forsake you.
Here are seven verses to meditate on to remind you that you are seen, heard, and deeply loved by the One who sees you!
This post was inspired by a women’s conference I attended taught by my dear sister in Christ Kinita Schripsema, of kinitaschripsema.com, where she dynamically spoke about what it truly means to be seen by God.
She is an anointed woman of God with a passion for bringing women to the well of the Living God to experience hope and healing in their lives.
Check out her own journey in her book I am Hagar: Forgotten No More.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Feel free to read my full disclosure here. Thank you!
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