The God who sees

Do you ever feel disregarded by the Lord, like he doesn’t see you—not that you’re invisible, just that he doesn’t notice you? Or, do you sometimes feel like he sees all your mistakes but is oblivious to the good that you are doing?

Recently, someone inquired about my profession. I told her I was involved in women’s ministry: speaking and Bible teaching. She asked, “So how do you spend your time when you’re not speaking?” Without really thinking, I responded, “I sit at my desk days-on-end preparing messages.”

As I thought about my response later, I realized I had a crummy, defeatist attitude, “most days there’s nothing noteworthy or commendable—I’m just sitting at my desk.”

Do you ever feel like your routine tasks are just filler in your day while you prepare and wait for the infrequent tasks of significance? I know that mothers of young children feel this way—I’ve not forgotten those years.

The Lord in his kindness reminded me this week of some heart-lifting truths from his Word:

He sees what is done in secret.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts the hypocrite who lives for the applause of others, with those who give and pray and fast in secret. Jesus affirms their actions with these repeated words:

“Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6: 4, 6, 18

I am taking liberty here to broaden the actions of give, pray, fast, to all things we do for others, all communication with God, and all acts of humbling ourselves in order to seek him. Jesus tells us that our Father in heaven sees these things. He sees our serving and helping others. He sees the time we spend in his Word and in prayer. He sees when we seek him and choose his way instead of our own.

Not only does he see, he responds. Jesus tells us our Father will reward our actions. He doesn’t specify what that reward is, but it is something good for us.

He sees what is done in obedience.
In preparation for the final plague that God would send on Egypt, God told the Israelites that each family must put the blood of a lamb or a goat on the doorframes of their houses. And, “when the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the doorframe, and he will not permit the destroying angel to enter your houses and strike you down.” Exodus 12:21-23.

In the Scriptures God shows us the path of righteousness, and tells us to walk in it. He gives us specific things he expects from us. When we walk in obedience to what he has told us, he sees. He knows when we obey him. And he will not permit the same consequences he sends on the disobedient.

He sees me.
Remember Hagar? She was the Egyptian servant of Sarah and Abraham. When Sarah was barren, Hagar was given to Abraham in order to produce an heir. After Hagar became pregnant, Sarah mistreated her, so she ran away into the desert.

The angel of the Lord came to her and told her to go back to Sarah and submit to her. He assured her that her role in God’s plan was not insignificant (“your descendants will be like the sand”). Then Hagar gave this name to the Lord “El Roi” the God who sees me. Even though Hagar had run away, the Lord saw her in the desert—he saw her situation—and he sought her out. The Lord sent his messenger to encourage her, and send her back where she belongs. Genesis 16

Do you sometimes feel like you are in a desert, with no clearly defined purpose other than trying to escape mistreatment? The Lord sees you, he knows your situation, and he will send you back to the plan he has for you.

He watches me.
One of my favorites—Psalm 33—gives us these words:
“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. :13-15,18

The Lord watches all who live on earth. Yes, but who are the ones he keeps his eyes on? Who are the ones he zeroes in on? The ones who love him and revere him and put their hope in him. I put myself in that category. What about you? The Lord does not disregard our routine tasks. No, he considers everything we do. He watches our daily monotonies looking for faithfulness, not a spotlight.

Some days we feel like our contribution is irrelevant—no one sees, no one knows, no one cares.
But we are not invisible to the Lord.
He sees what is done in secret.
He sees what is done in obedience.
He sees us.
He watches us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.
• Do you sometimes feel like the Lord is focusing on more important things—and more important people?
• Do you struggle with feeling like your tasks are insignificant?
• What are some Scriptures that can encourage all of us in this regard?

14 comments to The God who sees

  • Beverly Schlomann

    Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have given me relief when I was in distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. O men, how long will my glory be turned to shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him. . .Psalm 4:1-3

    I know it’s not “seeing” but it is hearing and noticing and paying attention. . .
    David is being misunderstood, maligned (people are being flat-out mean). But David reminds himself that God knows his heart; God notices him; God knows the truth. And not as a disinterested observer, but a God who sees, hears, knows, sets apart (loves), and answers . . .

    Though I really don’t like feeling misunderstood, God is truly the One to Whom I answer regarding my activity (or lack thereof). Even if what He calls me to is largely what no one else sees, or notices . .

    Thank you, Janet, for this entry. I needed the reminder that nothing God asks me to do is insignificant to Him, and He is my Master.

  • Susan M.

    Thank you! As a homeschool mom, going on 25 years at home (we have 11 years in between our two children), it does indeed sometimes feel like I am invisible. I am o.k. with that in one sense—as long as I am pleasing God with what I am doing. I so much appreciate this post, and these reminders!

    • Hi Susan, I know that moms often feel like their repetitive daily tasks have unseen value. Press all you moms out there. The Lord sees your faithful work day-in and day-out. These tasks will one day be over and you will be glad you persevered.

  • Sue Bond

    I needed this today! Thank you.

  • Penny

    Your blogs are such a joy to me; I’m always so very pleased to find your email link in my in box! Thank you Janet for your endless encouragement through your inspiring Biblical messages. May our Great God continue to use you to reach out to others in His Name.

    • Thank you so much Penny. I try to share the things that God is showing me because I know others out there struggle with some of the same things. The WORD always has the answer, always, even if it’s just the Lord saying, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Carmen

    This message touched my heart today. The routine and endless things we do that feel like no one appreciates or sees, God sees. “His eyes are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers” Thank You Janet for your encouraging words.

  • Elaine Mazzo

    What an encouraging post. Thank you!

  • Nancy Weidum

    Thank you for the very encouraging verse. I held on to this story of Hagar when I prayed ferfently for my son and for my daughter, especially these past few months. I found strenght and found hope because the Lord sees us and is with us.

    • Hi Nancy, the Bible is full of great examples and Hagar is definitely one of them. She was an Egyptian, not an Israelite, but God shows us early on that his plan was always much bigger than Israel. You are right, there is strength and hope in her story.