Seeds of Devotion
By Julia Attaway

The Things Only God Can See

Before Elizabeth moved away, she had one request: a family portrait for her new home. The proofs came in yesterday.

It is a curious thing to look at the pictures. I know each face by heart yet rarely look at everyone all together. Things pop out: Elizabeth and John look alike, Maggie and Andrew have the same mouth, Mary and Maggie share hair color.

I also think of what isn’t visible: the relationships between siblings, who has confidence and who doesn’t, who is working on mastering a temper or developing a positive attitude. You can’t see inner struggles or worries in a picture, personal triumphs or failures. You can’t see faith or doubt or temptations.

It reminds me of when Saul was looking for the Lord’s anointed and saw one of Jesse’s sons, and was told, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). There’s a difference between the surface and what’s really important.

It’s true that I have a beautiful family. It’s also true that in many ways we’re not as perfect as we appear. Looking at my smiling family reminds me not to make sweeping assumptions about people, but to pray for God to heal the weaknesses in others that only he can see.

Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.

Leave a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Your Comments (2)

So nice to see a picture of the family I have read about for years in Daily Guidepost! Thanks for the reminder in Samuel. I feel like I know your family in a small way and appreciate all the sharing of your troubles and triumphs.Blessings on your continuing journey!

Lovely picture, lovely family. Fun to see you all together.