The God Who Sees
by Charmain Hibberd
Marketing Assistant (Writer), CBN Europe
I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media…
Seen – Heard – Known
It seems like, in our generation, everyone has or wants a platform to be seen and heard. (I say this fully aware that I am currently communicating on a media platform!)
These platforms can be used in a positive way. Posting for memories sake, to document happy times and beautiful moments is a good use of social media and enables us to look back with fondness on times in our lives that may otherwise be forgotten.
Selfie-culture has taken an otherwise positive platform and made it all about being seen, heard, known and celebrated.
Celebrity culture is huge in the UK and watching the lives of the rich and famous on reality tv shows is a multi-million-pound commodity.
As a follower of Jesus, I take comfort in the fact that, whether I am seen, heard, known or celebrated by man, I am always seen and heard by God.
The first person in the Bible documented to have stumbled upon this revelation is an Egyptian woman named Hagar.
Hagar was Sarai’s servant and the mother of Ishmael. Ishmael was a child born out of the desperation of Sarai and Abram to fulfil the promise God had made them about a child.
Once Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, she began to resent her mistress and the unrest between the two women led to Hagar fleeing the house. When in the wilderness, an angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and asked her where she had come from and where she was going. We pick the story up in Genesis 16: 8 –
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”
(Genesis 16:8-13 emphasis added)
“You are the God who sees me”
Isn’t it beautiful that in her hour of deep distress, God saw and heard Hagar? Ishmael literally means ‘God hears’ and, even in the mess of Hagar’s desperate situation, God assured her that she was not in it alone.
Time For A Heart Check?
I pull out the story of Hagar amidst a conversation around social media and its use to point out that, if you are someone who uses social media to be seen or heard by man, perhaps take some time before posting to do a heart check. Remember that, even without the accolades or even the reassurance of your peers, God sees and hears you and knows your heart.
Psalm 139:1-4 says this:
‘O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.’
Rest assured, my friend, you are known and deeply loved for who you are by the Creator of the Universe. This is all the validation we should ever need.
An Audience Of One
If you have a healthy relationship with social media, posting for you and an audience of one – your Father in Heaven – bravo! This is a state that is hard to attain to and even harder to maintain in today’s society.
However, if you struggle with selfie-culture and posting for attention, please do not feel condemned. The purpose of this piece is to encourage you to seek your validation from the One who will never take it away, change His mind or reject you.
We are called, as Christians, to be in this world but not of it.
Romans 12:2 says this:
‘Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.’
So, in this media mad world, remember that you are seen. You are heard. You are loved. Perhaps not always by man, but certainly by the One from whom it really matters.