This Tuesday has given Monday’s bad rep a run for it’s money. It started with a way-too-early telemarketer call, continued with half of my lunch spilling all around my purse, rolled on with an illness I thought was over, and just seemed to go on forever- building up to me sitting in the dark listening to some old Adele. For real. It’s a tough Tuesday, and she gets it.
If we’re being honest here, I’m not all that surprised. The rest of 2016’s days so far have been, for the most part, beautiful. I have learned and adventured and laughed and grown already, even in the last two weeks. I knew this type of day was on it’s way, the day that puts the rest of them to the test. But the greatest part of my year so far is also the one thing that’s getting me through this shamble of day. What is it, you might ask?
Yes, the first book in the Bible. Yes, the one you’ve probably read again and again if you’ve ever been a girl (or guy) wanting to “read the Bible in a year” as your resolution. Yes, the one with the garden and the first humans and the scientific questions and the dude with a rainbow robe. If you’re not familiar with it, Genesis is the story of Creation, how humans screwed up a perfect plan, and some of their adventures after the fact.
This January, I have been reading Genesis and have seen a ridiculous amount of transformation in the way I understand the stories and the people and the relevance of it all. I’m following a plan, but it’s not about the things I cross off every day. It’s more about the people I’m reading about and the things I can’t believe I’ve never noticed before. So instead of throwing in the towel right around now, I’m actually quite sad there’s only one week left of it. I actually started this year and reading plan questioning if I really needed to read Genesis at all. If you find yourself asking the same question, the answer is a resounding YES. Yes you do. There’s so much freedom and sin and healing and relevance in the stories told, more than I could have ever imagined. You’ve just gotta slow it down and see the humanity that reveals itself in each and every page.
One of the stories that’s got me reeling is Hagar’s. When I first read it, there were tears. Now when I think about it, sometimes there’s laughter and sometimes just wonder. Little Miss Hagar was asked to be a surrogate when her mistress (the wife of the biggest deal in town) couldn’t have children, and then was thrown aside and resented when she succeeded. And just when she’s ready to give up, just when she’s about to turn up the Carrie Underwood and grab a Louisville Slugger [or whatever the contextual parallel is to that], God calls out to her. He calls her by name. He gives her an identity. He understands her, not because of what she’s been through, but because of who He’s created her to be. And in turn, she refers to Him as “the God who sees me”.
Because holy cow, isn’t that what we all need and want?
I want to know a God like that.
At the end of the day, especially the kind of days where you’ll still find me picking out rice and broccoli from the corners of my purse, you and I can rejoice that the same God who saw and heard Hagar can wade through our messes, too.
As much as I might trudge along, I know I can also stand up strong, eyes up, shoulders back. God is doing a new thing this year, and I can feel it in every part of me. If anything, today just proves me right. And the joy that’s been filling up over these past few weeks now actually has something to fight against in battles like today. It’s got ammunition. And a joy like that? Ain’t nobody or nothing gonna stop it.
You are the God who sees me.