If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.
- J.M. Coetzee
For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told I was the apple of my daddy’s eye. When I was growing up, in addition to his office at the university, my dad had a desk at home.
It seemed huge to me, made of dark wood and covered with important things. I used to play under that desk, hiding for hours with my dolls and my imagination.
Why was I drawn to that old desk? In addition to the papers, pens and blotter on top of the desk, there was also a polished wooden apple, inset with a delicate brass frame.
That frame held a picture of me. It was a physical representation of how my father felt about me. This reinforced how precious I was to my dad and how much he loved me.
I wasn’t the only special person either. This saying was common, and I’d heard many people refer to others as the apple of their eye. Many years later I began to wonder about the origin of this saying and learned that it originated in the Bible, specifically the Old Testament. Not satisfied, I dug deeper.
I learned that the apple of the eye is the pupil of the eye and that this saying was actually a word picture about relationship. It’s a picture of being so close to someone that you can see yourself reflected in the pupil of their eye.
That picture brought tears to my own eyes, as I remembered how much I meant to my earthly daddy and how much I mean to my heavenly father. How does that relate to the time my son spent as a soldier in Iraq?
One day, when I was struggling with fear over his safety, I read the verse in Zechariah where God refers to His people as the apple of His eye. He reminded me of the meaning of that verse and showed me that even though my son was special to me, he was infinitely more precious to God.
As I prayed over this verse, I found myself at peace. Not only did I care about what happened in the Middle East with my son, God cared. And more importantly, God could and would take care of my son.
Where do you go when you need confirmation that God is watching over those you care about? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s first book for those with a loved one who serves. Look for her newest book for military families debuting summer of 2015: While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with a Loved One in the Military. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.