Let’s face it. We’ve been through a tough season. And although there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a ways to go.

Not only has the pandemic been tough on us individually, but it has also been tough on our groups. Our group members and people normally seeking a group already had plenty of excuses for not engaging in a group. Now, Satan has served up quite a few more through differing views about the pandemic and our differing comfort levels engaging with other people.

Today, I don’t want to focus on any of those factors but instead, focus on moving forward. I want to encourage you to “see” afresh the people in your group.

Let me use the story of Hagar to illustrate that. After leaving the protection of Abram’s camp, Hagar is alone in the desert and pregnant. The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring and said to her, “for the Lord has heard your misery.” Then he made some favorable promises to Hagar about her son and his future.

That experience so moved Hagar that she began referring to God as El Roi, "the God who sees me". She even used that Hebrew phrase to name the place where the appearance happened.

We now have much more knowledge of God than Hagar had in her time. We know that God sees us. We also know God calls us to be His feet, and His hands, and His voice here on earth. Therefore, we should reflect His character.

We do that well when we really see people. What did God do? He recognized that Hagar had been through a tough experience. Just that recognition alone was enough to bring Hagar to a worship experience. Let’s allow that same characteristic of God to flow through us. Let’s see people and recognize their experiences.

How do we do that? We find them in the desert and let them know that they are not forgotten. We text, call, or email, or visit to let them know that we care and that we want to experience Biblical community with them. When we see people, they will glorify God because they are not forgotten.

We, as leaders, have been through tough times as well. The trials may continue even as you read this. But despite what is going on with us, let’s continue to see people. We haven’t seen or heard from some of our group members in a while, and we could be discouraged that they have chosen to withdraw. Let’s continue to see people even when our life is a mess. We will experience joy as we bring joy to others by seeing them.