Thankful: God sees me

So she called the LORD who spoke to her: The God Who Sees, for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the One who sees me?”

– Genesis 16:13

Today I am thankful that God sees me.

In this moment of Scripture, Hagar is on the run trying to escape mistreatment from Sarai, who owned her. Abram and Sarai have chosen to take the fulfillment of God’s promise into their own hands, and as a result Hagar is used by them to begin their family. Hagar becomes pregnant, and everyone is miserable and living in judgment of each other and the sin they have committed. In the midst of the mess, Hagar leaves.

And, God sees her.

He knows what has happened. He knows her despair. He knows her fear. And, He also knows His plan for her life and the child she is carrying.

God sees and speaks. He encourages her to persevere, even through her difficult circumstances, and gives her child a name and a promise.

No matter my circumstances, whether because of my choices or other’s decisions, God sees me. He knows and loves me. Even when I am on the run, trying on my own to escape sin, accountability or conflict, God wants to speak words of wisdom, conviction and encouragement to me.

He knows the path I should be on. He sees it all, and is the only One who can perfectly guide and give direction.

He sees me.

Garland of Grace

Scripture Crumb from Proverbs 1:8:

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
and don’t reject your mother’s teaching,
for they will be a garland of grace on your head
and a [gold] chain around your neck.

At the beginning of the book of Proverbs, Solomon urges us to make the pursuit of wisdom our highest priority. Wisdom, at its core, is seeking God. Our life’s goal should be to intimately know God and follow Him in every thought, decision, action and attitude.

In Proverbs 1:8, we are encouraged to hold tight to the instruction and teaching of our parents. Embracing their wisdom and living out their instructions will result in a garland of grace on our heads and a gold chain adorning our necks.

Though the sentiment of the verse is directed toward a child, as a parent, I am humbled.

My teaching is to be a garland of grace placed on the heads of my son and daughter. My words, my actions and my attitudes are to instruct and be modeled, leaving a beautiful and worthy necklace around the necks of my children.

What I say and what I do are to bring blessing to my household.

Too often, parenting is extracting the kids from a fight, or losing it when yelling for the fourth time for them to go to their rooms, or ignoring the “I’m hungry” whines after they choose not to eat a meal. In the messy middle of parenting, I am tempted to (and do) resort to a much heavier chain than a garland of grace.

Days can quickly become ungracious and ugly when my heart is not in full pursuit of God. In order to parent with wisdom, I must be filled with the grace and beauty I deeply desire to instill in the precious gifts God has placed in my charge. That means my priority must be to God first, not to God when I can squeeze Him in.

If I want my children to embrace God and receive a garland of grace from me, I must be wearing one.