The God Who Sees Yet Still Shows Up

I’m almost 5 years into this infertility journey.  You would think I would have figured this struggle out by now, but I haven’t.  In fact the past few months have been some of the darkest.  The I haven’t made it out of my bed some days dark. The grief of infertility is never ending and always evolving.  While miracles do happen and people who have been labeled infertile do give birth that will not cancel out the grief.  But that is a topic for another day.  Today we are going to talk about El Roi… “God who sees.” 

When I am going through a tough time I often remind myself that God is El Roi, a God who sees.  The past few weeks I have found myself doing this over and over as a quick glance at Facebook results in me producing enough tears to water all of New Zealand.  This week as I found myself once again saying “El Roi, the God who sees” it occurred to me that I was murky on the details of this story.  I knew that Hagar was involved and at one point she was in the desert, but the rest escaped me.  That night I sat down and opened up to Genesis 16.  I was surprised at what I had forgotten about this story. 

*Spoiler Alert* 

Sarai was INFERTILE.
Sarai wanted children.
Sarai told her husband (Abram) to conceive with her servant (Hagar).
Hagar became pregnant.
Hagar was mean to Sarai.
Sarai was offended.
Sarai was mean to Hagar.
Hagar was offended.
Hagar ran away to the desert and encountered an angel.

What a mess.  Over the course of the week as I thought about this story I began to see God in a way I had never been able to see him before.  I began to see him as a God of grace.

Hagar messed up.  She looked down upon Sarai and treated her with contempt. God sees this and still sent an angel to find see her and promised her descendants too numerous to count.

Sarai messed up.  She tried to control her circumstances without God and treated Hagar harshly.  God sees this and still gave Sarai a child (see Gensis 21).

I mess up.  I have been (and often still are)  jealous of women with babies*.  I have screamed at God while tearing pregnancy announcements, baby shower invitations, etc. to pieces on my kitchen floor. Yet… God sees this and still can show up in my life?

Normally after I have been angry or jealous or in debilitating pain I feel massive guilt.  The kind of guilt that causes me to question if God is still going to be a part of my life after I have messed up. What I love about Genesis 16 is that God shows up in the lives of both women even after they messed up.  It’s a broken world and I am going to mess up and sometimes those around me are going to mess up but it's important to remember that God can still show up. 

Is there anyone in this story you can relate to?  If so take some time to think about how, when, and why God showed up in their story.  

Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a deeper look on how infertility effected the story of Genesis 16.  

*If you’ve ever thought “But Why Does She Get Babies?” you should check out this blog post.  It's one of my favorites!

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