Somewhere just beyond the question of whether or not God exists, one can find the question, “Does God care?”
Scripture is littered with people in difficult situations calling out to God for aid and relief, many of them wrestling with both God’s ability to handle their matter and uncertainty as it pertains to God’s concern for their situation. Simultaneously, God is calling these same people to an unmitigated faith in Him.
Just as Hagar in Genesis 16, we do not always seek trouble. The complexity of life can land us in troubling predicaments that we did not seek or desire. Though God’s care for us is not limited to any situation, it is in these moments that we often wonder if God sees our suffering and hears our cries. It can be frustrating when God gives promises with no timeline. It is daunting to trust God’s destination when He chooses not to give us clear and complete directions. But God’s love for us will never lead us to a place where God cannot speak to us. God’s goodness does not stop at His words but is further realized in His faithful presence (Psalm 34:4).
In Matthew 6, Jesus admonishes would-be disciples to focus on seeking, obeying, and following the Lord’s commands. In a vacuum, this would be no problem. But we live in a fallen and broken world that provides a plethora of adverse circumstances, tricky situations, and recurring problems—all of which cause us to seek God for both hope and help.
May we find hope in today’s reading, knowing that while we travel—discouraged, weary, and confused—on the road of suffering, God speaks to us (Genesis 16:12–13). Like Hagar, we can trust that God will keep His promise (Psalm 34:8–9). Her response to God seeing her affliction is not simply that He has seen her, but that she has the privilege of seeing the One who looks after her. Hagar can follow God’s direction without fear, for the God of seeing knows where she is and has a plan despite her situation.
And today, God is still the God of seeing. He hears our cries and meets us in our trouble. He answers our pleas and lifts our eyes. God knows just what we need, when we need it, and how we need it (Lamentations 3:55–60). Therefore, do not fear. As you follow God by faith, seek God and His kingdom, resting in the knowledge that He is faithful to handle all of life’s matters (Matthew 6:25–34).