You couldn't see me but you never left my sight.
Not long after we married, Steve and I did a outdoor ministry day with our Sunday School class cleaning up an overgrown yard of an older lady in our church. We worked in different areas of the large area each doing a different job – mowing, burning limbs, and chopping trees and bushes. A couple of times I would look around to see where Steve was and what he was doing but couldn’t find him. Because I knew that he was somewhere close by I just went back to my chore. After our day was finished we met up and I told him that I never saw where you were during the day but looked for you. He said – You couldn’t see me but you never left my sight. I knew where you were and what you were doing every minute of the day. I saw you. To this day that not only brings tears to my eyes but comfort that I am watched over even when I feel alone.
In the first chapter of John, Jesus began calling His disciples. He started with Andrew, Peter, and Philip. Then came Nathanael - his story touches me. After Jesus called Philip to follow Him, Philip went to find his friend Nathaniel to tell him that they had found the one Moses and the prophets had written about in the Law. When Philip found Nathanael he was skeptical but followed him back to where Jesus was teaching. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said - now, there is a true Israelite in whom there was nothing false (vs 47). Shocked, Nathanael responded, “How do you know me?” Jesus said “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree.”
I saw you.
What an amazing thing for our God to say – my eyes are fixed on you even in your secret place. Times like these we wonder where God is. The cries of our heart are being poured out and we look around for an answer to the pain but the answer is slow in coming. Nathanael had been off in a distant place under the tree – he might have been alone, hidden away praying, studying, or seeking God for an answer to something hidden in his heart. Even though a great distance away, Jesus supernaturally saw him.
Upon hearing those words - there was an instant connection. There had been something inside of Nathanael that only Jesus could see. because the skeptic that he was – it only took those few words Jesus spoke to convince the devote Israelite, to a knowledge that Jesus was the Son of God, King of Israel.
But God sees.
My prayer today:
Father God, in times like these we look for you but sometimes can’t find you. But story after story in your Word reminds us that you see us where we are. The story of Hagar (Genesis 16) hiding in the desert – you looked and found her hiding in her pain. You see us. Your answer to our prayer may not come as quickly as we want…..but you see us. We are never alone – there is never a minute of the day that you don’t know where we are or what we are doing or even what is deep in our hearts. Help us to rest in your watchful eye because you are El Roi the God who sees me.
We trust in your care and adore You. Amen.