Sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to choose what to read out of your whole big Bible. Sometimes it’s intimidating knowing how to spend your quiet time with God when there are no prompts or guidelines. That’s why Collide’s Next Steps Coordinator, Michelle Holladay, wrote a devotion for every single week this year – so you can take the guesswork out of your devotional time and relax into prayer and reading. Join us on the blog each week for a new devotion.
Read – Genesis 16
She was pregnant, by a man she had not chosen. I imagine she was scared and lonely. She felt her life was not her own and there was not a single person who seemed to genuinely care for her beyond what she could provide for them. When Sarai began to mistreat her, Hagar ran away. But she was found by God who lovingly spoke to her and gave her assurances of her worth to Him. “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13a).
Recently, I spent some time with a woman I have been getting to know. Through the course of our conversation, she laid down some heavy burdens, tough things she has been dealing with, things lots of us deal with, about her marriage, about her fears for what her future holds, about trying to figure out what God wants her to do with her life. Then she told me, “You know, I have a great group of friends I hang out with and have fun with, but I really don’t feel comfortable sharing any of these things with them.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” she began. “I guess I feel like nobody really sees me.”
Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever been in the midst of a storm, desperate for someone to share your burden with, only to feel completely alone, like there is nobody who will truly hear you? It’s possible this is our own fear and insecurity talking. But what if it’s something more?
What a beautiful example God gave us through his interaction with Hagar. If you read the words He said to her, they aren’t particularly comforting. It wasn’t the words that mattered so much. What touched Hagar’s heart is the fact that God saw her. She left with the assurance that she was not alone; there was someone who noticed and truly cared what she was going through.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). What an awesome opportunity God has given us to share His light with the world, just by loving each other. It’s so simple, yet we make it so hard. We get caught up in our busy lives. We get distracted by rules and procedures. We are focused on our goals and somehow, along the way we fail to notice that we are dealing with actual people and we forget that in the end, our relationships will be the biggest legacy we leave behind. Let’s be people who are safe to be transparent and real with. Let’s be people who truly see each other.
Who can you reach out to today to let them know you see them?