Earlier this year I attended a national autism conference. Over 600 parents gathered together to learn more about autism, the latest learning technology, and perhaps the key to unlocking their child’s potential.
For two days I meandered around the conference. Everyone seemed hurried. Determined. Eyes straight ahead. Bent on trying to get to their next break-out session.
I remember looking around and thinking, “Nobody sees me. I might as well been invisible.”
It made me think about how in life we all want to be known. We want to feel appreciated. Whether we’re attending church, taking our son to school, or our daughter to her therapist’s appointment, we don’t want to be the one that nobody knows. We don’t want to feel alone.
I don’t know where you are in your special needs journey today. I don’t know if feel alone even when you’re in a place surrounded by people. Maybe you woke up today knowing that nobody looked forward to seeing you. And even though you feel alone—invisible—God is there. God cares. And God sees you.
He sees the heart behind what you try to accomplish for your child with special needs.
He sees the daily schedule that’s too full … work, laundry, cooking, bills, the demands of parenting a child with special needs.
He sees your weariness.
He sees the little that you have left at the end of a long day.
I’m reminded of Hagar. Hagar was the Egyptian handmaid of Sarah, the wife of Abraham. When Sarah found herself unable to have children, she arranged to make Hagar the concubine of Abraham, to start a family through her. The result was Ishmael, but years later when Sarah did actually have a child of her own, Isaac, she had Hagar and Ishmael put out of the family…thrust out into the desert.
Hagar was alone, frightened and sure that no one saw her plight…she felt invisible. Yet, in her trials, God knew exactly where she was. He saw every move she made. He came to her to offer comfort and hope. Hagar stood amazed in the profound truth that God Almighty had His eye on her. She wasn’t invisible.
She cried to Him with thanksgiving: “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
And God sees you too:
- God sees a woman who simply needs to know that she is worthy of being a mother.
- God sees a father who is enough – even though he doesn’t think that he is.
- God sees parents that need Him so desperately that they sometimes forget that they do.
- God sees your hurt when you’re misunderstood by family and friends.
- God sees when no one else cares to look because they’re too busy.
- God sees through the smile you wear when you’re dying on the inside.
“You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
The same God who saw Hagar has His eye on you. He knows where you are. He sees what you are going through. He cares about you, and whether you feel it or not … you’re not invisible … you are “the apple of His eye” (Ps. 17:8).
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