” For He Himself said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5b
One morning while at my parents house, I was looking at this picture that my mom has displayed on her wall. It is a picture of my dad and the little chubby girl next to him is me at about two years of age. Since I don’t remember this ‘snap shot’ in time, I don’t know the circumstances around it and it caused me to start wondering, out of plain curiosity, why I was sitting there. Was I in trouble and my dad was correcting me? Was I waiting for something and my dad just sat down to keep me company so I wasn’t alone? Was I angry because of some injustice that had occurred, no doubt from either my 6 yr old brother who didn’t want me in his stuff or my newborn brother who recently took all attention away from me, and I needed a spot to stew about it? Was I sad, lonely, bored, or just resting? But whatever the circumstances… my dad was by my side, looking at me through his snappy Foster Grants.
As I was studying this photo, I was struck with the spiritual correlation this has with the how my Heavenly Father relates to me. No matter the circumstances, my Heavenly Father is by my side. Not just by my side (with His attention on something else), but His focus is on me. He is not just warming the bench next to me, His gaze is on me. This is both such a huge comfort, and at the same time, a bit uncomfortable. He is beside me when I am upset about something that has happened; He is at my side when I’m wading through the consequences of my sins. He is there and watching me when I am unkind, unforgiving, unlovable. When I am waiting and there doesn’t seem to be anything happening, He is right there, looking at me, focused on Me! When I feel forgotten, alone, overlooked or abandoned…I need to remember that I am not, because He is always there. His eyes never leave me. Like me in this picture, I may be self-absorbed, closed off and not looking toward Him… but His attention is most certainly on me.
“How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17,18
I know I’m blessed to be able to say that my dad’s character has reflected well the different aspects of my Heavenly Father’s characteristics, and this photo is another real-life illustration of how our Father lovingly and attentively relates to each of His children.
“Dare to repeat it often (though you do not feel it, and though Satan insists that God has left you), “Thou art with me.” Original Author unknown, was a piece of manna from Mom