December 25, 2013 – Christmas Day
Scripture: Genesis 16:13 CEB
Hagar named the LORD who spoke to her, “You are El Roi” because she said, “Can I still see after he saw me?” (Genesis 16:13 CEB).
As I was reading over the names of God to prepare for this devotional I kept coming back to the name “El Roi,” the God who sees. I remembered one of my most difficult Advent seasons. It was 1973 and my dad, whom I adored, had just lost his battle with cancer. My family, who usually looked forward to Christmas, now dreaded it. The Christmas tree that my mom bought sat propped up in the corner because none of us wanted to do “Dad’s job” of putting it in the stand and stringing the lights on it. On Sunday morning I would go to church, paste on a smile and pretend everything was fine. I didn’t want anyone to know how angry I was at God, how hurt I felt and how lonely I was. But even though I could hide my feelings from others, I could not hide from God.
The name “El Roi” is only used once in the Bible. In the scripture above, Hagar is also hurting. But God saw her as she fled from Sarai and tried to hide. Our situations may be different but our God is the same.
Are you facing this Advent season without one of your loved ones? Or do you know someone who is? Remember that we serve El Roi, the God who sees us. He sees us, knows us, and loves us. That makes this Advent season something to look forward to. I know that because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and so did my dad, I will see him again someday and be able to spend eternity with him.
Author: Arlene Allen and her husband, Curtis, moved to Wilmore 16 years ago for Curt to attend Asbury Theological Seminary. They have been married 34 years and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.