When my husband, David, deployed for Operation Desert Storm, two-year-old Jeremy and I spent a lot of time outside. Being outdoors distracted us, somewhat, from missing our favorite sailor.
Jeremy certainly didn’t understand fear, but I felt like I worried plenty for both of us. And then some. It was hard to free my mind of concern.
God, he’s just so far away. I’m scared for him. How can I be sure you’re taking care of him? And communication is so limited – I hardly ever get to talk to him. I feel so alone sometimes.
“Mommy, for you.”
Jeremy handed me a weed, crumpled out of shape from his chubby-little, toddler hands. A tear slipped from my eye. Just like David. Jeremy had watched his daddy pick flowers for me when we were on a hike or outdoor adventure. It felt like a little message from my love.
“Thank you, sweetie.” Thank you, God, for the reminder of my faraway husband.
“Mommy, Mommy, look.”
I turned, ready to accept another dandelion. Jeremy extended his index finger, and we watched with wonder as a crimson ladybug inched over baby wrinkles and then took flight. Jeremy giggled with glee and scrambled to find another ladybug.
A second reminder of David. My entomologist husband had shown Jeremy how to gently place his hand next to a crawling ladybug to let it make its way atop toddler skin so he could take a closer look. He’d stare with wide eyes and mouth agape and laugh when it tickled his hand.
“More, Mommy, more.” We followed and chased and held ladybugs, counting the spots on each one before it took flight.
That night, when Jeremy was safely tucked in bed, I prayed for David’s safety, as well as God’s protection of others serving far away and their families left behind. And I added, Merciful El Roi, I know you sent those reminders just for me today, by way of little toddler hands. Thank you for seeing me. I don’t feel so alone anymore.
El Roi • The God Who Sees
I love that the first person in the Bible to call God by the name “El Roi” was a young Mommy. Frightened and all alone – or so she thought – Hagar has a conversation with an angel of the Lord in the desert.
Comforted, and with the confidence to return to her master Abram, Hagar said to the Lord, “You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me” (Genesis 16:13 NIV).
As a young mom and then as a slightly-more-experienced mom, I was often comforted by verses in the Bible that reminded me that God sees me.
Here are some of the verses that have spoken to me over the years:
- Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
- For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
- The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. Psalm 34:15 (ESV)
- But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalm 33:18 (NIV)
- Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
- The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3 (NIV)
- And one of my very favorites that comforts me greatly: The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:8 (NIV)
Whether you are coming or going, slumbering or taking care of little ones, catching ladybugs or smelling the roses, God keeps watch over you forever. It just can’t get any more comforting than that!
We are never alone, for El Roi sees us.
Whether you are coming or going, slumbering or taking care of little ones, catching ladybugs or smelling the roses, God keeps watch over you forever. @JLavenderWrites #parenthood #loveTweet