In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye. Deuteronomy 32: 10
February is known as “the month of love and hearts!” Hopefully, your Valentine’s Day cards and those little gifts you want to give those you care about most are purchased and ready. What a commercial holiday it has become, as flowers, cards, jewelry, teddy bears, and candy are heavily marketed, but what a privilege and joy it is to share our love with others.
But I can assure you that if you haven’t bought them yet, there is no greater gift than one that comes from your heart – a personal letter or note written with sincerity and love can mean much more than a Hallmark card. Or doing something for those special people in our lives that would bring a smile or some joy to them is worth much more than a box of candy or flowers. There is no greater gift than to give of ourselves and to give from the heart. For isn’t that what love is – to care as much or more about others as we do ourselves, to want to make their lives better, to bring them joy, and to often put their needs above our own?
“The month of love and hearts“. We are called to love and show those we love how much they mean to us and to check the status of our own hearts.
Using the heart to symbolize love goes back many centuries, and we even find in Scripture that God tells us to love Him with all our hearts! For the heart is the center of our emotions and where our passions lie, and we have all experienced the pain of heartache at some point in our lives. We may need to think about the relationships we have and consider if there is more that we can do to make them better.
It is also a time to see if our hearts are in the right place, to have a “spiritual heart check” to think about those things that are most important to us, and to ask ourselves how much room we are giving God in our lives. He deserves so much more for the love He gives us. After all, did you know that He thinks of us as “the apple of His eye“? Now there’s a Hallmark greeting for all of us!
What an odd saying, but a pretty common idiom in our day! I am sure we have all heard the expression, “He, or she, is the apple of my eye”, meaning my pride and joy. But it is astonishing to even imagine that God would think of us in such a way and would want to use this phrase to describe His endearing love for us.
It seems like such a frivolous expression, one lightheartedly describing someone’s affection for another, but yet God wants us to know that He delights in us, He finds joy in us, He takes pride in us, and He honors us. An unusual choice of words, but some believe the expression was used because sight was considered so precious during this time, and the pupil is the tender center of the eye.
We are indeed the focal point and heart of God’s attention, and He loves us with a tenderness that is almost inconceivable to us. We are cherished above all His creations, we are special and precious in His sight, and He longs to protect us. How blessed we are to have His watchful care, to know that God looks down upon us with such tender care, and that He calls us “the apple of His eye”.
In this verse, Moses used the expression to show God’s love to the Israelites even after all their disobedience. But David, too, understood this love and expressed it so well in His prayer found in Psalm 17: 8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” What a comforting and loving thought!
Our most holy and gracious God, we are so grateful for your love and protection. May we be ever mindful of your care and for giving us the people in our lives who are so dear to us. May we never take them for granted and take every opportunity we have to tell and show them how much they mean to us. We give you all honor and praise. Amen