Gwen Smith
Remember the last time you felt lonely, scared, angry, confused and hurt all at the same time? Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation? I have. There was a time, several years ago, when I wanted to run – hard and fast – from life as I knew it. I had just birthed three babies in three and a half years. Then, to everybody’s surprise – especially mine – my husband got a promotion that moved our young family across the country to a place where we knew no one. I had two babies in diapers and one “big boy” struggling to say goodbye to his binky. There was always a diaper to change, a mouth to feed or a mess to clean up. My days were a blur and my emotions were overloaded.
In my mind, I knew I wasn’t alone – but in my heart, I felt like I was.
God knew exactly where I was.
He saw me.
El Roi was with me each step of the way. He answered prayers that had never even made it past my lips when he sent me a priceless new friend named Peg. She was a young mom, too. We laughed together, cried together, prayed together, watched each other’s children and supported one another. She was a true blessing in that desperate season of my life.
Hagar was a young Egyptian servant girl who also faced some big challenges. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 16, we hear of her plight…and of her flight. When faced with difficult circumstances, she didn’t stay – she ran away. And when she found herself seemingly alone in the desert, God sought her out and called her by name. Stunned that the God of the universe cared to comfort her, Hagar responded by giving God a new name… El Roi… “The One who sees me.”
Dear Lord, there have been times when I have felt alone and abandoned. Thanks for reminding me that You are a God who will never allow me to be beyond Your sight or Your reach. Help me to face trials with a courage that is firmly routed in your strength and power so others might be drawn to You and know Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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