I don’t know what it is about cars that make us feel the need to give them a name. After all, we typically don’t name our refrigerators, televisions, lawn mowers, or other such items. I’m as guilty as the rest of you car-naming people out there! My car’s name is Elroy. No, he’s not named after the boy on the Jetsons. He’s actually named after one of the names of God.
Now, before you start thinking I’m an irreverent nut job, let me explain. A few years ago I was driving a Jeep that belonged to my parents. It was getting more and more difficult for me to get in and out of the Wrangler and I knew it was time for something different. Just when I needed it most, God miraculously provided me with a fabulous new vehicle to drive. It’s easy to get in and out of, it gets much better gas mileage, and it’s just fun to drive! When it came time to name this car, I wanted to name it something that would help me remember God’s provision and love for me.
I was reminded of Hagar’s encounter with God in Genesis 16. There’s a lot of back story here, but basically, God promised a son to Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah). They got tired of waiting and took matters into their own hands. Sarah gave Abraham her servant Hagar, who quickly conceived. Naturally, there was a lot of tension, jealousy, and anger between Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was so harsh that the pregnant Hagar fled. An angel found her and spoke to her. This is the account of Hagar’s encounter with the Lord, found in Genesis 16:11-14 (NLT).
And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
My friends, God sees you. He is aware of your suffering. He sees the pain you are in. He knows you feel trapped, as if there’s no way out. I promise you, God knows. He sees. He hears your cries of distress.
I am reminded of this every time I see my car. His name comes from the name Hagar used when speaking to God: El-roi, the God who sees me. Elroy is my reminder that God sees me. He sees you too! Even better, He has a plan for your rescue. He will get you out of the pit you are in. He will bring you to a place of freedom. Keep praying, keep waiting, and never lose hope. God is for you!
“Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don't. You are in good company... You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.” -John Piper