I go to church in another town.
It's about a 20-minute drive.
It's OK – I like my church. It's where my sons go, and it's nice to worship with them there. The pastor teaches me a lot. I feel at home there.
And the drive is really rather pleasant.
Yes, part of the way involves the 405 freeway – (trust me, if you live in Southern California, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't – well, picture a NASCAR race, add a thousand more cars, and then consider yourself lucky that you don't live near the 405…)
But part of the way I drive by some wide, open spaces. Yes, there are some open spaces in Southern California – OK, maybe not WIDE open – but fields and hills.
And just about every single Sunday I see the most wonderful sight.
On the top of a random streetlight, I see a huge hawk.
Some Sundays I see more than one – like yesterday, I saw one going to church, and one coming home.
First of all, these hawks have got to be pretty big. Because they look big to me, even though they're probably about 30 feet up in the air. The one word that comes to my mind is majestic.
And they don't say that someone has "eyes like a hawk" for nothing. Those hawks are perfectly still, perfectly focused on the ground – always watching, always on alert – nothing escapes their single-minded concentration.
So yes, yesterday morning I saw a hawk.
And I thought about God.
It's almost like He's the hawk – He sees me, faithfully driving to church.
It hasn’t always been like this. Though I've been a believer for many (many) years, and have attended church for most of my life, there was a period of time when I didn't go. A very long period of time – I'm ashamed to admit that, a bit sad to admit that. I didn't realize how much more difficult life was without fellowship and teaching.
But, God grabbed hold of me a few years ago, and He hasn't let go. And part of my faithful return to His side involved regularly attending church again.
So I looked at that hawk – and saw God.
The One who is perfectly still and immovable in my life, perfectly focused on every detail and every moment of it. He is always watching, always on alert. Nothing escapes His single-minded concentration on me.
Is that awesome or what?!
I am reminded of one of my favorite names for God – EL ROI.
It's the name that Hagar used for God.
Hagar had a rather…ahem…"complicated" relationship with her mistress, Sarai (Sarah). At one point she ended up running away. She found herself pregnant, alone, scared. But God found her – and He said some remarkable things to her:
"…where have you come from, and where are you going?"
He knew – but He wanted Hagar to know that He knew…
"…the LORD has heard your cries."
What blessed comfort.
"Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, 'You are the God who sees me.'"
Hagar's wilderness experience brought her face-to-face with God. It taught her that "I AM" is the living God who SEES our plight and HEARS our cries. He is a personal God who cares for those who trust Him.
I am encouraged by this meeting. It helps me remember that even in the most painful trials, I may also have the most intimate and close encounters with God.
He loves me.
I am reminded of that unchangeable fact almost every Sunday when I see those hawks.
You know, yesterday morning on my drive to church, I looked up at that hawk. And I saw God – seeing me. I smiled and said to myself, "I'm on my way to Your house, Lord."
And He said, "I know."
I think the hawk saluted me with his wing.
And then, as an added bonus, on my way home I saw yet another hawk, soaring over the hills. A tear came to my eye as I felt in my heart the presence of El Roi – the One who soars over my life, watching my every step…
The One who sees…
What does the name "El Roi" mean to you?
Today I am linked with Joan - SHARING HIS BEAUTY with joy!
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"