The Apple of His Eye

The Helix Nebula from CFHT, 8/28/2000
Credit & Copyright: J.-C. Cuillandre (CFHT Staff), CFH12K CCD Camera, CFHT
(See explanation below)

Keep me as the apple of your eye. – Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

My dearest Child,

You are the apple of My eye. Sometimes, I know, you feel as though I’ve abandoned you. I have not. I’m here. I’ve always been here, and I’ll always be here for you. I’ll never abandon you, no matter what happens, no matter how you feel or behave. No strings attached. I love you simply because you are Mine.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “the apple of my eye” many times, but do you know what it means? The “apple” of the eye is the pupil, the center of the eye and the part that allows light in. Without this delicate part, you wouldn’t be able to see. So the pupil—the apple—must be protected at all costs.

I am your protector, the shield around you, the strong tower into which you may run for refuge, your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your stronghold in times of trouble. Yet there have been times you haven’t run to Me. You’ve sought help elsewhere. I never force you. I always give you the choice. Sometimes your choices break My heart. But I want you to love Me and choose to obey Me on your own. Like the pupil, I want you to open up your heart and allow My light and love in.

There are times when I must intervene for your own good. What parent would allow a child to step out into a busy street and not run and snatch that precious one from harm’s way?

When you’re weary and bearing a heavy load, I lead you to a place of rest where your soul can be refreshed. If I didn’t, you’d run yourself to death. What are you trying to prove, dear one? You don’t have to earn My love or prove your worth to Me. I created you. Just as you are. For a purpose. Everything I allow in your life has a purpose, child. Work with the circumstances, not against them. I am in control, whether you believe it or not.

Sometimes I allow hardships in your life to teach you, to strengthen you. Do you remember learning to ride a bike? How many scrapes and bruises did you endure before you were able to ride without someone running right behind you, ready to catch you if you fell?

Yet there came a time when I had to stand back and let you do it on your own. I watched you fall, brush yourself off, and hop back on again. I was so proud of you. I watched you cry when the pain was more than you could bear, when you were so frustrated because after all your attempts, it still wasn’t working out the way you’d planned. I hurt because you hurt. I counted your tears and bottled them as a reminder of your growth pains. But I was always there.

As you grew, the lessons became harder. Such is life, My child. Sometimes I allowed you to wander in a wilderness, to struggle in a storm. It pained Me to hear your cries, “Where are You? Why don’t You help me?” I was helping you. I never abandoned you. Your faith had to grow stronger, and the wilderness and storms make perfect faith-growing greenhouses.

You, Apple of My Eye, are precious to Me, and I love you so much, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give for you. Indeed, I gave My Son.

You are the apple of My eye. Don’t ever forget it.

Love,

Abba

Read and meditate on Zephaniah 3:17

NOTE ON PHOTO: I typed “Eye of God image ” in my browser, and one of the websites that came up was this picture of the Helix Nebula. Here is the explanation from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, dated Aug. 28, 2000:

Explanation: One day our Sun may look like this. The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies 450 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans 1.5 light-years. The above image was taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) located atop a dormant volcano in Hawaii, USA. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows unusual gas knots of unknown origin.

Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day, Aug.28, 2000

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Pressing On

 

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on. – Philippians 3:13–14 (NIV)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I stand on the threshold of a new year, I recall 2015. It sure brought a heap of the unexpected — and not the pleasant kind. In the midst of the turmoil, I kept seeing the future as a big question mark.

Then it hit me: The future IS a big question mark. A good thing, too. Because if I’d known about all the troubles I’d confront in 2015, it would have been pretty depressing.

But 2015 is behind me, and it’s time to let it go and reach into 2016. I don’t know what the New Year will bring, but this I do know: My God is already there, and I can count on Him to see me through.

First, I can count on His constant, abiding presence. “My Presence will go with you,” He assures me (Exodus 33:14). And again in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” And Jesus promised, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

Second, I can count on His power in the times I need strength beyond myself. “My grace is sufficient for you,” He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So I know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), for He IS my strength (Psalm 46:1).

Third, I can count on His divine purpose—that it’s good and underlies all that will happen to me. “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). “For I know the plans I have for you—plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He’ll turn the negatives in positives: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28).

Fourth, I can count on His protection. He is a shield around me (Psalm 3:3). As my keeper, He watches over me (Psalm 121), and He commands His angels to guard me (Psalm 91:11—in fact read the entire psalm). In stormy times, He is my refuge (Psalm 46, Deuteronomy 33:27). “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for (He is) with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Fifth, I can count on His provision. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said (Matthew 6:34). “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Because “the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). God will supply all my needs “according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19).

Sixth, I can count on His promises. “Know that the LORD your God . . . is the faithful God” (Deuteronomy 7:9). “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). “Thy steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, thy faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5). “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23).

And finally (not really, but for the sake of brevity), I can count on His unconditional love. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38–39).

I don’t know what 2016 will bring, but this I do know: God, and His Word, will comfort me in the hurting times, give me peace in the troubled times, guide me in the decision times, be my refuge in the stormy times, and bolster my faith in the uncertain times.

He’ll do the same for you.

Thank you, Lord, that I will not walk through the New Year alone, for You are with me today, tomorrow, and always. Amen.

 

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 139

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