North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

We’ve had a baby boom at the church where I pastor. Several young couples have had babies and it’s been one bundle of joy after another. In my own family, three of my cousins have had six children within the last two years. This is obedient to the command of God when He said, be faithful, multiply and repopulate the earth” (Gen. 9:7). As the little ones have grown, it’s been a true joy to see their shining faces and bright smiles. I’ve reflected on these little children many times and thanked God for each one of them. Little children are lighthearted and carefree. They enjoy life and they trust their parents implicitly for their needs. It reminds me that our heavenly Father wants His children to live with a simple, trusting faith. It’s not all of our accomplishments and superior intellect that impresses God. He takes great delight in knowing that His children love Him and want to please him with their actions.
Every child is a blessing and my own children have increased my joy through their faith in me. Through the years they’ve found ways to make me feel loved and appreciated as their Dad. I recall a time years ago when my daughter, Anna Marie was six or seven years-old; her grandmother carried her on a shopping trip. The mission was to buy new school clothes and pick out a new Sunday dress. They were gone most of the day and returned home that afternoon. As I stepped out into the garage I could hear the pitter-patter of her steps running up the sidewalk to see me. She said, “Wait til you see what I got!” She displayed all the new clothes in a very organized way. When finished she pulled a green shirt out of the bunch and it had a graphic design of an apple on the front with the words, “The Apple of My Daddy’s Eye”. Judging by the look on her face and in a loving and admiring way, she knew what that phrase meant. And she wanted to be just that: “The Apple of her Daddy’s Eye”. She solidified that title the day she was born and it’s a title she’ll never lose.
I’m reminded of a Bible verse found in Psalm 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” The psalmist saw God as his strength and protector. God’s people are very special to Him. He watches over and cares for them in this life and the life to come. The phrase “Apple of the eye” is an old English term for the pupil of the eye, that is, the clear center part where light enters. As an expression it refers to something or someone that one cherishes above all others. In the Bible, “apple of the eye” is used by some translations of the original Holy Scriptures for two different Hebrew words, one meaning “a reflection”, the other meaning “a daughter”. Deuteronomy 32:10 says, “He found them in the wilderness. He shielded them, cared for them, guarded them as the apple of his eye”.
We know we are the apple of our heavenly Fathers eye because: “He Hears Us When We Cry”. Many people cry on the shoulder of a friend or counselor. While this help may be good. It’s likely to be temporary and limited. But when we cry out to God when we’re distressed or disappointed He is lasting, unlimited, and understands our trouble. We need to appreciate the listening ear of others, but we must realize people are prone to falter and failings. God never fails and hears us when we cry.
“He Helps Us When We Try”. Never in the Bible does God promise to take us to heaven on flowery beds of ease. He doesn’t promise to do everything for us, but He did promise to help us. When you do your best, God will do the rest. Our strength, however small it may be, plus God’s help, can handle any situation (Phil. 4:13). Trust the Lord with all your heart and He will give you direction.
“He Hides Us When We’re Shy”. The apostles came to Jesus weak and worn from doing God’s work. Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile. This was because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). Christians become exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s important that you trust and rest in the Lord when you feel shy, inadequate, and unable to go on. He will renew, revive, and replenish your resources.
“He Holds Us When We Die”. Some people avoid talking or thinking about death. They believe death will be a time of aloneness. A Christian need not fear crossing the “valley of the shadow of death” for Jesus promised, “I will never leave you” (Heb. 13:5). “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15).
In God’s time and if He wills it, all the little babies will grow to be men and women one day. As a little child we must have a simple, trusting faith that our heavenly Father loves us and will take care of us all the days of our lives. My daughter outgrew the green shirt with the apple on it, but we both know the Lord keeps his promises and we shall always be the apple of God’s eye.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Sep 21 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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