“So, What Have you Been Up To?” What Matters to God

Coming at 'Yeah

“… The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

This verse is part of the story of Samuel going to anoint another King for Israel and sent to meet a particular family. He sees one of the sons, who “looks” like a good person for King.

Recently I caught up with three of my friends from high school. For a few years, we had been very close friends and yet in the 30+ years since, we had mostly not kept in touch.

As we caught up on what each one had been doing during those years, I felt like they seemed to have so much more to show for their years, than I did. They had all married and had children, had more qualified careers than I have and looked so much younger and healthier – in some cases, not much different to when we were 15!

I found it hard to answer the question about “what I’ve been doing” all those years. For most of that time, I have been ill. While I have worked in good jobs some of that time, for a while my ability to work has been eroded dramatically. My life is not dominated by what my husband or children are up to and a lot of my time is now spent just resting. How does that compare to their busy lives?

As the world would see it, my 30 years doesn’t look to have accomplished much at all. My body that was once healthy, is now in constant pain and has other issues that limit my ability to do many things.

Here God is reminding Samuel that He looks at people differently. He does not see the person as just what the world sees – successful, healthy, good looking – God sees what is inside the person. God sees the heart of the person, what they are passionate about, how they relate to others and what place God has in their life.

I don’t really know what my friends thought about me – but it doesn’t matter nearly as much as what God thinks when He looks at my heart. I pray that He sees something that matters to Him.

About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has a body that is failing, but a faith in God that lets her face each new day and whatever it brings. She prays that you may all know and be comforted by how much God values each one of you. She likes to write and share the things God is teaching her as she lives with chronic pain.

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7 thoughts on ““So, What Have you Been Up To?” What Matters to God

  1. Fiona – How often your words resonate with me! My high school is holding a reunion this year, and I’ve gotten back in touch with old acquaintances. I could easily have written your words! Thank you so much for the reminder of what really matters … and to who.


  2. In pain; can’t sleep; so I decided to catch up on the devotionals. At 12:32 a.m., your words lift my spirit. So you think you’re not doing something with your life? I beg to differ. You are blessing me–and many, many others–with chronic pain, that they can make it through another hour, day, week. THANK YOU! I really appreciate your devotion to writing these devotions! Blessings, Linda

  3. Thank you for this particular devotional; its eloquence denotes the purified and beautiful perspective of the author. At 19, with four years of chronic pain and illness already holding me back from life, I find several of my dreams resting in places of tangible achievement. However, this devotional provided unique empathy and encouraged me to reform my gaze. Thank you very much.

  4. Wow – my 30 year HS reunion was this year. It was even local and I couldn’t bring myself to go. I know a lot of my hesitance was over the obstacles. I can’t get through a buffet line, where would the bathrooms be, would I be able to park close enough to make it. I am unmarried and so have no one designated to even push a wheelchair if that is what I decided to use. I use a walker with wheels now but don’t have the energy to walk very far. With all these obstacles, though, I think most of my reluctance was fueled by my embarrassment as having nothing to “show” for my 30 years. Thank you for being used by God – once again – to remind me that God’s value system is vastly different from the world’s.

    God bless you – you are truly precious in His sight and a wonderful blessing to the rest of us!

    Love and blessings,

  5. Fiona,
    What a wonderful devotional. I can relate to it in different ways.
    Once a neighbor asked me where I work and I said I did not, before I could even say why she said “Oh, that must be nice” I probably should have said I could not.
    She judged me on the outside, but our God does not do that.
    There is a group of ladies I occasionally meet with. And I am glad that they are all healthy. One in particular makes me feel out of place. She is fairly wealthy with a good career and dresses very well, there is nothing wrong with that but…..
    But she has a superior attitude. And the interesting thing is she never asks how I or my family are.
    It just shows that it does not matter how great we look on the outside or what we have ‘accomplished’ in the eyes of the world.
    As long as we are walking with the Lord, even during those hard times, that is what pleases Him. He sees the inside of our hearts.
    I pray that my heart would be pleasing to Him.

  6. Pingback: A Unique Prayer Chain « Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals

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