El Roi: The God Who Sees

Last week I was having coffee with my small group girls and we were discussing how sometimes it seems like no one sees, or notices all that we do as moms and wives. Some days the hours seem unending; and the repetitiveness of daily tasks is annoying, and there are no thank you’s, applauses or recognition given for our labor. There’s not an army of social media “liking” all the little things we do; the daily duties of mommy-hood are exhausting hours dominated by repetitive serving and giving. We concluded that sometimes our work is so ghost like, and together we wondered out-loud: would anyone even notice or care if, today, we just didn’t do all the little things?

Every day we do hard things, the hardest, dying to self when all we really want is...a few minutes to ourself. We are up with sick kids into the late hours, cooking meals that are sometimes discarded or worse (insulted), clipping coupons to reign in the budget, washing, folding and lining drawers with clothes, sweeping the floor, wiping the sticky spills, refereeing the silliest of fights and arguing with the strongest willed toddlers. And the lists could go on pages full, couldn’t they?

As my friends and I sat there Tuesday morning we talked about the reality of the divine secret seer, the God who sees and rewards faithfulness that go’s unnoticed by others (Matthew 6:6). Our great God is present in the secret; His eyes see the smallest tasks. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. We talked about how we never serve in vain, whether it be in our homes, or our churches. 

And then today, right now actually, I’m on a plane with my laptop pulled out because I felt compelled to write. This morning before my flight left I got an email from a dear friend with the names of God in Hebrew. I glanced at it-- wondering what God had for me in the moment and I smiled when I saw it. “El Roi”-  means in Hebrew, “the God who sees.” Right now, I’m gazing out the plane window, mesmerized by the clear sky that’s dotted with fluffy white clouds. I study the little remnants of what I can see of civilization below, and in this moment I am suddenly, seriously aware of my smallness. There are distant subdivisions, long stretched highways, miles of mountains, and numerous bodies of water stretched out beneath me; yet even this grand ariel view is nothing in comparison to the largeness of our earth. 

Naturally, as I come to terms with the reality of my own smallness, I stand in awe at the truth of God’s massiveness. El Roi sees each of our lives, not just from a distant ariel view, but from an intimate, all knowing, completely sovereign angle. As I peek out the plane window, I can’t even begin to fathom how God not only sees all the unseen, but even more astonishing-- is that He cares.

My heart echoes with the Psalmist, “What is man that you are mindful of Him?” (Ps 8:4)

The story of Hagar is such a beautiful illustration of God’s unparalleled vision. He sees the pain we carry that no one knows about. He sees when we are hiding, when our hearts ache, when we are afraid, when we feel completely and utterly alone. He sees us even when we are running; He sees us even when we aren’t sure we want to be found. (Genesis 16). In her distress, fleeing mistreatment, cruelty and abuse, on the run in the middle of the desert, Hagar met El Roi and was overwhelmed by His compassionate and hopeful promises for her.

And here I sit, on this overly crowded plane, and I am stunned into silence, astonished by the the compassionate care of this God Who Sees. 

Overwhelmed that in the largeness of this earth I am never just a face or number. (Psalms 139)

Overwhelmed by the fact that He bends His ear to listen when I cry out.  (Psalms 77:1) 

Overwhelmed that His invitation to me is complete intimacy; (truth in the innermost parts- Ps 51:6) literally not just seeing me, but seeing into me

And I’m mindful that God sees me, whether I’m completing the mundane and ordinary tasks on the ground below or flying 35,000 in the air; never for a minute, am I out of His line of vision.

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About the Author :

Christina Stolaas is a 30 year old who is addicted to Jesus, Coffee, and Running. She's a mom to four energetic kids who she adores, and wife to one wonderful husband of almost 10 years. Christina is a Sunday school teacher to youth, is actively involved in women's ministry and uses her gift of writing wherever God opens the doors!
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