“… 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.