Dear Mrs. White,
This is Mike from your first period class. I am the on on the lacrosse team, and I sit in the second row. I am really struggling to make a good grade in chemistry. It seems like no matter how hard I try, or how many times I come in for help, I still don’t do well on the tests. I am thinking about giving up and dropping your class.
It has been years since I got this email, but it still breaks my heart. Why? Because this kid wasn’t even sure I knew who he was.
But I did know exactly who he was. I knew he worked hard to barely get a B, even though he had the effort to merit an A. I knew he took great notes, did all his homework, and came in for extra help. And yet he still barely hit a mid-C on each test. He was doing all the right things, but chemistry was still hard. I knew him, and I saw his struggle.
I see all my students. I see the ones who work hard and still struggle, I see the ones who don’t work hard and manage to get A’s. I see the ones that succeed and cheer them on. I see the ones who don’t do the work, but cannot make the connection between that behavior and their lack of success (those ones drive me a little nuts). But I see them all, and honestly, and have great affection for them even in their struggle.
Sometimes, when we are struggling, and are trying hard to do all the right things, it can feel like God does not see us. Our soul cries out ‘Do you even know who I am, God? Do you see me slogging through this earthly mire? Because I don’t feel seen or known by you!’
But God sees us. He sees those of us who struggle and strain even though we are doing all the right things, and fortifies us through it. He sees us in the midst of our joy because He is the source of it. He sees us when we are suffering because of our own bad choices and loves us regardless, and waits for our return. But He sees us. He knows our successes and failures, whether they be our fault or out of our control.
God sees you. He knows your struggle. He knows the good and the bad about you. He sees you, and He loves you.