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The Apple of His Eye

January 29, 2018

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40: 31).

It is said that the first Apple computers were built in the late 1970’s in Steve Job’s parent’s garage on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. The Northern California home is a designated historic site. Great accomplishments often have modest beginnings.

Jesus Christ, God’s only son and the apple of his eye, also had a modest start.  He was born in Bethlehem to ordinary people, and raised in Nazareth, a Roman outpost. The Romans divided Israel into three sections: Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. Galilee, in the north, consisted of about 250 towns in an area about 60 miles long and 30 miles wide. Most of Jesus’ ministry occurred in this small area. Mark reports that after Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, “Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’ So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” (Mark 1:38-39).[1] It was from those modest beginnings, in a short three-year period, that a revolution was born that rocked the world—a revolution far beyond the computer revolution that began in the 1970’s in Silicon Valley.

As God’s adopted children, we are the apple of his eye as well. God protects us as we protect our children. He gives us hope: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak . . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40: 31). The psalmist confirms that the Lord “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147: 3). God loves the tired, the brokenhearted, the disenfranchised, the weak, the hurting, the fearful, the lonely, the ill, the bedridden, the frustrated, the humiliated, the frightened, the despairing, and the injured. That’s you and me. He doesn’t promise us a life without pain, but he promises to shore us up if we turn to him, and to give us the strength to carry on.

God doesn’t guarantee that you will found a Fortune 500 company, find the cure for cancer, or be Time magazine’s Person of the Year, but nothing is wasted in his economy, including your efforts. You may never know the influence you have had on others during your lifetime.  God knows, and he will guide you in directions where your special abilities and talents can be used.

But Paul points out that what we do in God’s name requires self-discipline: “Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize.   Everyone who competes goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly. . .” (1 Corinthians 9: 24-26).  Don’t drift aimlessly from day-to-day. Pay attention to where God is leading you through your study of the Word, as you discover the gifts you have been given, through your own diligent research and study, and through your interaction with others. God will bind up your wounds; he will heal you, and will give you the strength to carry on. And he won’t give up on you. He will stay with you and carry you over the finish line.

Keep your eye on “the crown that will last forever,” and the dividends will surpass those paid by Apple, Inc.

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

[1] The Scripture texts for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany are Isaiah 40: 21-31; Psalm 147: 1-11; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-27; Mark 1: 29-39.

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