13: Who Jesus Says We Are: Known

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSometimes I marvel at how free we are to talk about struggles of the past. It is easy to tell the stories of the abortions, the infidelity, the fears, the near misses, the losses, the heartbreaks. Its easy to see how Jesus met us in those places, but somehow, it is harder to see how he is meeting us now. We cover up the hurts we face today, because we risk others knowing that we’re still not there yet. So we build walls, fortresses that we believe will keep us safe.

I think of Sarah, in the scriptures, who I imagine felt as though life had cheated her. See, in those days, children were one of the highest signs of favor, and Sarah was barren. I imagine Sarah looking out the window over her kitchen sink and over into the yard of her next door neighbor, where children were laughing and playing, and I just know that she must have felt so empty. After all, hadn’t God promised that Abraham would be a father? She must have been asking, how can we trust a God who falls asleep, a God who forgets the promises He has made?

I believe it is a question that we all ask when we feel like life isn’t working out the way it should. How can I trust a God who has forgotten about me?

So Sarah comes to Abraham and gives him her servant, Hagar, saying that at least maybe Abraham can conceive a child with her.

I think of the woman at the well, who Jesus met with and asked for a drink of water. Jesus tells her that all who drink from that well will eventually become thirsty again, but that the well of his love and his grace and his mercy never runs dry. When the woman asks for this water, Jesus tells her to first go home and get her husband. I imagine her being stricken with panic. Here she is, talking to this man who is about to reveal himself as the Christ, and yet she doesn’t want him to know her story. So she tells him that she doesn’t have a husband.

We think we are so good at sweeping our mess under the rug, even when it comes to Jesus.

But the story goes on and Jesus reaches into her story to speak to her pain. He acknowledges that she does not have a husband, but she has been married five times already, and the truth is, she’s not married to the man she’s living with now.

Don’t miss her response to this. After Jesus reveals to this woman that he is the Son of God, she runs back to her community and says to anyone and everyone who will listen to her, come and meet this man who has told me everything I ever did.

I think of the woman with the constant flow of blood, whose story Sara Hagerty tells  (along with her own) with such grace. For years, she has exhausted herself in an effort to find healing for her ailment. At the pinnacle of her desperation, she comes up behind Jesus and catches the hem of his clothing, believing that that simple action will be enough to heal her. She doesn’t come to speak with him face to face because she doesn’t want to call attention to herself and admit the fact that she is at the end of her rope.

As she lets go of the woven threads, she realizes that her bleeding has stopped, and perhaps she marvels for a moment that she’s done it — she has gotten away without being noticed.

But Jesus noticed. He turns and she realizes that she is no longer hidden. The Lord calls her daughter. 

When Hagar realized that she was pregnant with Abraham’s baby, the situation quickly became messy. Scripture says that she began to despise Sarah, which Sarah blamed Abraham for. Hagar decides that the only thing she can do is run.

We’re good at running.

But what Hagar doesn’t realize yet is that God is about to interrupt her. He meets her in her pain, in the midst of her running, and He sees her. She calls him a God who sees.

Ours is not a God who falls asleep. Ours is not a God of “at least maybe.” He knows us. He is aware of our presence and takes delight in us.  He knows the desires of our hearts and what makes us happy. Scripture says that Father God knows the number of hairs that we have on our head.

He has not forgotten you, sister. He sees you where you are right now, in this moment. He knows exactly what you’re facing today, and He is calling you daughter.


 

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Some Fine Print:

This is the thirteenth of thirty-one installments to be posted throughout the month of October.
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  • Tara Ulrich

    Erin, this post really spoke to me and touched my heart. There are days I wonder if God has forgotten me. I still yearn so deeply to find my husband, to have a family, etc. You are right; God hears my every word even when I’m not sure that God does. Thanks for this beautiful reminder..God does indeed call me daughter and God calls you daughter too!

  • What a beautiful blog! I love the pictures and how you convey your message. I agree- it’s much easier to share the messiness of the past instead of the present hurt and struggles. It is such a wonderful truth to know that God sees us and He cares deeply about us!

    • Thank you so much for the sweet encouragement, Rebekah.