There’s a heart-touching quality to Hagar’s story that has always captivated me. The turning point in her dilemma centers in her discovering the fact that God’s loving oversight and care—that He always sees me!—not only was constant, but also was not dependent upon her perfection (Genesis 16).
At the threshold of the New Year, my review of my own effectiveness at pursuing God’s ways in my life often comes up with something of a felt “deficit” on my part. A new calendar beckons to new resolve—and I daresay that most of us usually feel that our daily prayer life and devotional patterns seem a common call for improvement.
With over 70 years of life and nearly 53 years of pastoral leadership behind me, I still find days I have to be reminded that He sees and hears me, and even likes being with me, no matter how I feel. It is that comfort and confidence that touched my heart in a special way sometime back, and I expressed it with the following poem—one which innumerable readers have said brought encouragement to them.
On the possibility it may bring a time-to-time uplift to you as we walk together with Jesus into 2009, I offer it as a tender reminder: Father not only always sees us, but He delights in our presence—irrespective of our mood, our sense of being “spiritual,” or our present passion.
Thou God Seest Me
I rose in the morning to pray one day,
In the bloom of the dawn I rejoiced.
And my heart skipped lightly before my God
As His praises in song I voiced.
It was marvelous being caught up in arms
Which led my dancing soul.
While I thought I would burst for the joy I felt-
To sing, to play, at my Father’s throne,
And there was a day that I rose to pray
And I wrestled my wandering mind.
“Is it sin or self or Satan, Dear Lord,
That works this frustration; a kind
Of labyrinth of thought. I bump into walls
That stop my persistent pursuit.
I pressed. I reached out for You, Lord and found
My hands full of nothing
And that birthed the morning I didn’t arise.
My body dictated the word
Which my mind confirmed, while my spirit squirmed
For your beckoning voice it heard.
“Come, child, Come be with me. Come now, watch and pray.
Can you not watch one hour with me?”
But my body said, “Rest.” And my mind said, “Remember,
You’ll not get far tired as this,
“Now I’m here again, Lord. It’s another day,
And as sure as I am that You hear;
And as glad as I am to be with You, I’ll say
That my heart’s somehow tempted to fear.
I fear I’m a failure at prayer. And I fear
That my stumbling words will not count.
I fear that I’ll ne’er be consistent in prayer
Like the ones who on eagle-wings mount
Then a Voice speaks to me: “Child of dust, I know you,
And it’s you I’ve invited to be
With me each day, at that time when you pray,
Whether dancing or weary, you see.
I have never required certain moods of you,
And so never require them of Me.
But I’ll meet you there
However you are-
We will dance at times when your spirit climbs-
Or ‘mid wandering thoughts, I’ll forsake you not-
And when words are bare I’ll still hear your prayer.
But keep coming, my child.
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct [it] to You, And I will look up.” -Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)
By: Pastor Jack Hayford, president