Of all the names of God, El Roi (EL-Raw-Hee) is one that can have a positive and negative application—not on God's part, but ours. Reason being, this Hebrew name for God translates to " The God who sees me ".
I have a personal story that I hope will illustrate how this particular name for God is a double-edged sword.
When I was in the fifth grade, I had a brilliant plan. I decided I was going to ditch school and stay home. My plan was to make popcorn, eat all the junk that I could find in the house, and watch my favorite soap operas. I was going to have the house and the T.V. all to myself with no one to interrupt my perfect day at home. (While all the other pour souls were at school.)
We all left for the day as usual, but once each of us went our separate ways, I ran back to the house. I walked through the door with a smirk that had pride written all over it as I had succeeded in this great plan of mine.
All was going great! That is until I heard the door slam shut. " No, it couldn't be " . Yes, it was my mom! " What in the heck is she doing home? " She totally ruined my plan - what was I going to do? I ran around the house like a crazy person looking for somewhere to hide. The shower, I will hide in the shower! I climbed in and there I sat – all day long!
Meanwhile, my mom was doing her thing – listening to music, cleaning, whatever. As I sat there I was thinking, this is great. How fun is this? Nevertheless, the worst part about all of this is that every time she came remotely close to the bathroom my heart began to beat faster. I was so afraid she was going to find me. Not long after this, it didn't matter to me whether or not she was close to the bathroom. The fact was she was in the house period. Just feeling her presence was enough to drive me crazy. Still I sat, wishing I were at school with all those other pour souls. At school, I would at least get recess!
I don't know how many hours went by when I finally realized I wasn't having any fun – it was certainly not worth it anymore. I couldn't take sitting in the dark bathroom hiding behind those shower doors anymore.
I went from feeling like a master planner to a humbled little girl who felt as stupid as the plan she made. What was I to do? I could have sat there into the night and waited until someone unknowingly turned on the water expecting to shower but then I would have been a wet, stupid little girl. On the other hand, I could muster up the courage to come out of the shower and confess.
And so I did. I stood up and said " I'll take it like a man! Whatever happens from here, it's got to be better than sitting on the cold, hard, shower floor! "
She was in the kitchen; naturally I startled her. Staring down at the floor, I told her all about my plan (except for the part about how mad I was at her for ruining everything). I will never forget her response. She laughed. Yes, that's right, she actually laughed at me! She told me that sitting in the shower all day was punishment enough. We talked it through and she told me that I should just tell her if I ever felt like I needed a day at home. In the right timing and circumstances she would work it out and I wouldn't have to do anything wrong to get what I wanted or needed. Then I really felt dumb. What a concept, just ask.
The memory of this story brings me to Psalm 139:1-12. Let's read it together:
" O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I run from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say 'surely the darkness shall fall on me,' Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to You "
The Creator God sees it all. He is EL Roi (El-RAW-HEE, the God who sees me.)
This is great news for the one who has given themselves over to Christ completely. God's very name means He is always watching over us. However, for the one who is still hiding from God, this can be dreadful and uncomfortable. The truth is, we cannot hide anything from God. He sees the deepest darkest things of our heart. Still, He desires to free us and He loves us in spite of it all.
SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
There is a third place to be in all of this, and that is even as a child of God, we can drift away and forget that Jesus is still Master over our lives. Being a Christian for over 20 years now, I can look back and see the times where I was doing my own thing; not reading or praying as fervently, and sadly sometimes just going through the motions--cruise control if you will. Thankfully, because He is El Roi, He pushes the off button, and suddenly He has my attention! I'm sure you could fill in the blanks with this one....
So how are your plans coming along? Do you feel God's presence? Do you hear Him calling you out of your hiding place?
Answer the call - His plans for us are far better than any we can come up with on our own. Most Importantly, His plan won't send us running to find a hiding place.
Let His light pierce your darkness - though it may hurt awhile, as it does when you first turn on a light in a dark room, you will adjust quickly and find that the warmth of the Light will awaken the Peace resting in your soul.
On the other hand, you may not be hiding from God, you are earnestly seeking Him yet you feel like he has abandoned you--hiding from you. This is a lie straight from the pit of Hell--reject that thought. Renew your heart with the truth today.
For a deeper look, read the following passages of Scripture: Psalm 121:3, 5-8; Psalm 33 and Isaiah 41:10
Walk in the freshness of His Holy and wonderful name!
El Roi, thank you for your faithfulness and never losing sight of me!
© Teresa Ortiz 2007; 2009