Lenten Reader | Day 24

The Heart

[The Lord said to Samuel,] "Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

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 16:3,6-7
Here we find Israel has rejected the Lord as her king, but God has not rejected Israel. He directs Samuel to anoint a new king but, unlike even Samuel, God is not looking for the strongest, tallest, or most talented. For God looks at our hearts. He is interested in those who are seeking after Him, and He exalts the humble while showing opposition to the proud. Despite Israel's rejection, God remains good, and He gives them the king they need; one after His heart.

Can we not then trust in the Lord? Is He not faithful in His promises? When we face difficult situations, it can be tempting to focus on what we can see and what we feel, but the truth is the Lord looks beyond our circumstances and sees into the very depths of our hearts. He knows what we need, what we are capable of, and what He has planned for us. We can wait in hope because we know He is working all things for our good and His glory.

If you find yourself feeling weary, unworthy, rejected, or forgotten, take heart. Maybe you have been looking at the things that concern the world. Maybe you have been questioning if you are skilled enough or strong enough. But the Lord is looking at your heart, and you can have hope because He only asks that you humble yourself before Him. For in Him, you are enough.

So let us strive to keep our hearts pure and our focus on the Lord. Let us wait in hope, knowing that He is faithful, and that He has a plan for our lives. Let us trust Him – even when things seem uncertain – and let us know He is always with us and always working for our good. May we always remember that the Lord looks at the heart and may we strive to keep our hearts focused on Him.

Karissa Kirkwood