My boys recently attended a DNOW retreat in our community. It’s an annual event in our town. Churches of different denominations bring their student ministries together to worship the Lord and learn from Him. It’s pretty amazing to hear the stories of God at work in this young generation of believers.
As a momma, I fervently pray that God will move in my boys’ hearts during events like these. This year, after the last session, I talked with one of my kiddos about the event. As we spoke, he shared that one particular song during worship that weekend resonated with him. I asked what about that song resonated with him. As I listened to him, I realized that even if he didn’t know it, something intimate had happened between him and the Lord.
Have you ever deeply connected to Jesus while worshipping, praying, or studying His Word? I don’t mean an emotional pull, but something more profound. A stirring in your soul that you couldn’t quite explain or put your finger on, but somehow you knew it was so much bigger than you, and it drew you to Jesus in a new way?
Those moments are breathtaking. If possible, I would live in those moments every minute of every day, wouldn’t you? As I pondered that conversation with my son, it reminded me of one of my favorite accounts from the Bible, when Jesus called the first disciples to follow Him:
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)
There is so much we can unpack from these four verses, but today let’s explore exactly how the call to follow Jesus begins.
Jesus had just finished teaching as He walked by and saw Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John busy working. They were most likely stinky and dirty. They weren’t doing anything glamorous or noteworthy; they were simply going about their business, doing their jobs. They were just living life, yet something incredible happened. If we’re not careful, we could quickly pass over this monumental thing summed up in two little words, “He saw.”
As Jesus walked by each of these ordinary men going about their ordinary lives, He saw them. And this is the first thing that must happen for us to follow Jesus. Jesus is the One who sees us and begins the process that causes us to follow Him! We do not initiate the action; Jesus does.
I realized that's what my son experienced in worship at DNOW. The words of the song they were singing were a sweet gift for his heart and mind, letting him know that Jesus saw him right where he was standing. The questions he wrestles with, the things his mind can’t comprehend about our great, triune God, do not surprise or scare Jesus.
Friend, there is a message in those two words for each of us: Jesus sees you.
To the stay-at-home momma who hasn’t had time to shower all week, with loads of laundry piling up around you, and kiddos that need your attention, even though all you want is a nap–Jesus sees you.
To the working girl putting your all into a job that isn’t filling your soul the way you desire, but bills have to be paid, so you keep showing up–Jesus sees you.
To the college student who isn’t sure what the future will hold but hopes and prays you’re making the right choices to work towards the future you want, unsure if you really even know what that might be–Jesus sees you.
To the empty-nester who feels a little lost and without purpose now that your kids are grown and don’t need you as much in this season–Jesus sees you.
To the single girl desiring a partner to come home to each night, to share the ups and downs of this life, yet you just can’t seem to find him–Jesus sees you.
To the woman who is hurt and broken, stuck in a loveless marriage, struggling with disease, the death of a loved one, or financial struggles, the list of possibilities is endless for the cause of pain in this life. No matter the source–Jesus sees you.
Friend, I don’t know what your life looks like right now. But I do know this, Jesus sees you. Jesus sees you exactly where you are and cares for you. And that should fill you with great hope.
We do not have to go through life alone. We do not have to work to get His attention. He is El Roi – the God Who Sees. And He sees you.
This month, let’s meditate on a portion of one of my favorite Psalms of David:
O Lord, you have searched me
and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Psalm 139:1-18 (ESV)
El Roi, thank You that You see me in this moment, where I am today. Thank You that I do not have to work to cause you to take notice of me but can rest in the goodness of your gaze, just where I am. You are so good, and I welcome Your gaze on my life! I love you, Jesus. In Your name, I pray, Amen.
How have you noticed Jesus’ gaze turning towards you recently? We would love for you to share with us in the comments below!
Chrissie Angell is the Executive Director and a Co-founder of Humble Faith Ministries. She is a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher passionate about pointing women to Jesus and helping them live out their Kingdom assignments. She and her husband, Brian, live in Kentucky with their two boys and their yellow lab, Charger.