In my consideration this week of Hagar’s interaction with the One who sees her and my subsequent delve into how God sees his people, I came across this beautiful picture of how God’s care for his people.
10In 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, 11like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. 12The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.Deuteronomy 32:10-12
Yesterday, I touched on the origins of the phrase “apple of the eye.” While it may have originated in Hebrew writings, it is used by many people to characterize a relationship of special significance. It might be a parent for a child, a teacher for a prize student, a coach for an athlete, an employer for an employee. It points to the special affection a person has for another individual.
These few verses give a wonderful picture of God’s care for his people in the past. Consider how it might be a picture of your life as well.
“In a desert land he found him, in a barren howling waste…” Is this sentence descriptive of the condition of your life when God most recently showed up in tangible ways? Perhaps it is the occasion of your conversion or perhaps it is the moment you decided enough is enough with some unhealthy pattern that left you desolate and alone. God showed up!
“He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye…” God saw you in the midst of desperation and put every resource into protecting you, bringing you to a better place. Why? Because you are the apple of his eye — you are the object of his special affection. He fixes his gaze on you. You are the light of his eye.
“…like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.” Eagles are amazing creatures. They hover near their young as they grow, providing for their needs, but always aware of the need for the eaglet to grow and develop independence. There are times in the process where the eagle creates an uncomfortable environment for the eaglet to facilitate their growth and development. This includes removing all the comforts of the nest so the eaglet is pushed to fly. But the parents are ever near, waiting to catch the young bird as it learns to use its wings. Take a moment to picture the habits of this majestic bird and be fully aware that God is hovering nearby. He is always near, providing for your needs while at the same time, encouraging your growth and development.
“The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.” Who should we attribute this to? Only the Lord. He alone has led you, protected you, guided you, adored you, cared for you, held you. He alone is worthy of our adoration in return.
Take a moment today with the image of the eagle. You are the prized and special student in the class. He adores you and is right there to provide whatever it is that you need. You only have to gaze his way and he will lift you up on his powerful wings.