Someone recently posted on my Facebook page: “I have been alone all my life. Since I have been alone, the only tribe I have is Jesus. He is there for me when no one else is.”
While the loneliness in this comment is piercing, there is also much truth in it. We all know what it’s like to feel let down by others, even those closest to us. People do not always live up to our expectations or needs. Whether they should or not is another conversation. The point is that the aching desire to be noticed, understood and known are at the core of our being, and we’ve all experienced deep disappointments in this arena.
Those who are walking through a difficult trial today—for example, unemployment, a chronic illness, a broken relationship, or loss of a loved one—may experience a crushing sense that they have been overlooked, ignored or that God has simply forgotten them. However, this is not a Biblical perspective. It may be frightening, disconcerting, and disruptive, but God allows trials into our lives to test where our trust really lies and to make us grow more dependent on Him. When we are at the end of our resources,
“I lift my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of Heaven and Earth.”
(Psalm 121: 1-2)
The world may forsake us– even forget us– but God’s watchful eye is ever upon us.
“The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him,
upon them that hope in his mercy.”
In the book of Genesis, Hagar, a servant of Sarah’s, wife of Israel’s patriarch Abraham, has been so abused by her mistress that she escapes into the desert with her son, Ishmael, whose father is Abraham. There, alone and rejected, and having run out of food and water, Hagar has a surprise encounter with God. She discovers that God not only knows who and where she is, but also her circumstances and what she must do about them. He comforts her, prophesies about her boy’s future and guides her back to her destiny. This causes her to exclaim, “You are the God who sees me!” (Genesis 16:13)
It’s one of many stories the Bible tells us of how God’s watches over his people as a shepherd lovingly cares for his flock of sheep.
A pastor-friend recounted that in 2013 he was skin diving off the coast of New Zealand, when a rip tide separated him from his fellow divers pulling him 90 miles out to sea. An hour and a half passed before his friends even noticed he was missing. By then, the chances of his ever being found were dismal. He paddled bravely to prevent hypothermia knowing full well he was in shark-infested waters. To keep from panicking, he recited to himself Psalm 91.
Hours later, the team’s boat captain finally spotted him. They had been searching for hours. The seasoned captain said that the fierce ocean currents had been pulling the pastor further and further out to sea and that his chances of ever being found were less than one percent! They called his rescue an absolute miracle.
But, God knew where he was all the time!
Today, whatever wilderness you find yourself in, stand on the truth of Scriptures. God knows you, sees your circumstances, and if you will reach out and invite Him into your situation, He will make “all things work for the good” (Romans 8:28), and bring blessing out of hardship.
Recently, I’ve emerged from a season of very difficult trials, but God knew where I was every step of the way and guided me through these storms to safe harbor. He showed me His power and faithfulness by healing my husband of cancer. He’s shaped in me a more steadfast faith and trust born in the furnace of affliction. As a result, today, He has opened new doors of ministry, fresh professional opportunities, and restored broken relationships in our family. (You can read my story in the book “Healed, Healthy and Whole, How We Beat Cancer with Integrative Therapies and Essential Healing Strategies” at http://www.healedhealthyandwhole.com).
Friends, God sees you, He knows you, and you can trust Him. If you don’t yet know God personally, just ask him in the quietness of your heart to come and direct your paths. Confess your need of Him and tell Him you are willing to listen for His guidance. He will answer that prayer.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.”