God Sees Through Our Masks (1 Samuel 16:7)
By: Anne Peterson
Today’s Bible Verse - But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16:7
Things look different now. Depending on where you live, some people still must put on masks when they are around others. And in some places around the world right now, people can’t even go outside. They are in complete lockdown.
With our masks on, we look the same. People can only see our eyes. Except for God, of course. He looks at our hearts.
Before masks, when we’d look at people’s faces, we’d draw conclusions. That person is smiling, things must be going well for them. The person with the scowl must be having a difficult day. And the one who won’t have eye contact, well, who knows what they are going through.
But God sees through our masks. Our cloth or paper ones, or even the masks we wear underneath our other masks. For a long time, I had learned the art of hiding behind my smile. It was not a real smile, but one I’d grab right before I’d head out the door.
God saw right through that smile of mine. People may read faces, but God reads our hearts. Even when our hearts are slammed shut. I know this because that used to be my heart after I suffered a miscarriage and then was told I had come in contact with someone who had tuberculosis. I was ordered to take INH, a slow-acting drug that I would take for a full year.
And then came the words that angered me:
“I don’t want you to get pregnant while you are on that medication.”
I could feel the anger rising inside of me, and a wall formed around my broken heart. And no one could get in. From then on, I thought I was portraying myself the same as always. But one day, when my husband was in the army in Germany, we attended a fellowship gathering, and I met one of the new chaplains.
After talking to me for just a few minutes, Chaplain Bowker looked at me and said,
“I sense within you a rage.”
Totally exposed, I retorted, “You’ve got that right!”
I don’t know who was more surprised, the chaplain or me.
God graciously let me meet this chaplain who arranged counseling sessions with a nurse. God knew I was hurting, and he didn’t want me to stay there.
It took a while, but eventually, God healed my broken heart, and the wall I had built around it came down.
I recently heard a new song by Nathan Peterson. It’s called Masks. I cannot listen to the words of this song without picturing God himself saying these words: “You are not alone. I am here. I am here with you now.”
Maybe God is saying the same thing to you right now.
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There:Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has published children’s books, poetry books and 2 memoirs. She is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Check out www.annepeterson.com or connect with her on Facebook. To hear more music by Nathan visit his website.
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