Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you –
my constant watch and care over you night
and my many tears for you.
Acts 20:31 NLT
“I see you.” Have you noticed people in sitcoms and commercials and movies saying that? It’s been growing in popularity for the past year. It’s meant to convey more than just the literal meaning. Saying “I see you” to someone in today’s culture means you see the REAL THEM. You see how hard they are working. You see the adversities that they are struggling to overcome. You do more than just glance at the seemingly simple “cover” of their lives and make the time to take in the individual pages that make up their “book.”
It’s a way to let someone know that you really see them – their struggle, their efforts, their deep value – and appreciate it all.
In Acts 20, Paul is speaking with the leaders of a church in Ephesus. In one part of this conversation, he reminds them of how tirelessly these leaders will have to work to keep the members of the church safe and healthy. He has personally led this community before and knows just how difficult the job is. He even speaks about the temptations and dangers that come along with being a leader. He cautions them:
“Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you – my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.”Acts 20:31 NLT
I see you, leaders. I see how hard this job is because I myself did it, too.
As I read this, it occurred to me that Jesus says that to each of us. Jesus – the son of God, who set aside his status to come walk in our shoes – knows our struggles. He knows how hard this life is. He knows the tears that come with it. Hebrews 4:15 says:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”Hebrews 4:15 NLT
He really gets it.
He really cares.
He sees me.
He really sees me.
Whatever we are going through, he’s been through it. Whatever we are wrestling with, he’s wrestled with it. The only difference is that he’s conquered each of these challenges without falling into sin. And that means that he can do more than just see us, he can advocate for us. He can save us from our darkest fears and many tears.
He says to each of us: I see you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I’ve loved you with an unending love. My grace and mercy surround you in every step you take. I saved you. You are mine.
Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes it’s really hard to believe that you love each of us individually as much as if we were each the only person alive in the universe. It’s hard to comprehend that you really see each of our individual struggles and fears. But you are so much bigger than we give you credit for and you DO see us. You really see us and you really love us. Help us to let that reality sink in. Let us rest in that truth today. Amen.