"He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day ..." Psalm 91:4
How do two kids, growing up in the same house, end up living two very different lives? How do you deal with the emotions you feel, when you see someone you love, trying desperately to change their ways.
As children, my younger brothers and I were raised in a very violent, abusive home. On more than one occasion, as the oldest of the last four kids, I would gather the three younger boys and we would huddle together. Stretching my young arms around them, protecting them as best a seven year old could, we would wait out the storm.
As adults two of us navigated through the psychological trauma to find healing and peace; however, the other two have struggled their entire lives, numbing the painful memories as best they could, while surviving life; searching for the love and the protection they should have experienced from birth.
Here’s the purpose in my ramblings today. One of these younger brothers is a gifted musician and songwriter. On a recent visit, he pulled out his guitar and began to sing a song he had just written. Watching him and listening to him sing from his heart, I fought back tears, silently asking myself, “where is his hope?” And, then I remembered, as it was and continues to be for me, it is in Christ.
In the Bible, in 1 Samuel, chapter 16, verse 7, Samuel, based on the Lord’s directive, begins the selection process for the next king. Looking solely on the physical appearance, God redirects Samuel telling him, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Man looks on the outward. From outward appearances, my brother is an older, rough looking, man who, based on life choices, will be harshly judged by others. However, the Lord looks at his heart and sees him as I do; an older man who is just a kid, coping with pain and loss, while searching for unconditional love.
Our hope, as well as Keith’s hope, lies in knowing that the Lord looks beyond our choices, our actions, and sees why we do what we do, he sees our heart, our motives. He knows our pain and sufferings. He knows our hopes and dreams and he catches every tear we shed as we cry over our loss. Focusing on this truth, like Keith, we can put others’ opinions and judgments, no matter how difficult, in their proper place.
Measuring up to God’s expectations of us is a lot simpler than man’s. Requiring our love and devotion, we do our best and remember where our help comes from. Like Keith, we lift our gaze to the heavens, we cry out to the one who faithfully loves us, and we remember our Father has 10,000 angels ready and waiting to go to battle on our behalf.
Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved. Images, text, music, may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission. Mary Armstrong