The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8 NIV
My granddaughter takes gymnastics twice a week. The gym has a balcony area where spectators can sit and watch. The floor is full of participants who are grouped according to their skill level. There is a variety of events going on at the same time, and the groups will spend a set amount of time at each event before rotating to the next.
I love watching my granddaughter attempting to perform each skill. I can tell she is trying to do her very best. She is concentrating on what the coach is telling her to do and pushes herself to follow those directions.
Most of the time all the children seem oblivious to the onlookers. But sometimes they will glance up to the balcony to catch a glimpse of a loved one, to see if that person caught them successfully completing a task. Then a smile or a thumbs up is exchanged between the onlooker and the participant.
As I was watching from the balcony one day, the thought came to me of how our Heavenly Father is also watching us.
From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. Psalm 33:13-15 NIV
There are times when going through my day, I am simply concentrating on my tasks at hand and doing what I need to do. Then there are moments when I will glance to my Father, whisper a prayer that came to my mind and I look for His recognition of me as a beloved child. It’s comforting to know He’s watching over me.
But it’s not just the being watched part that’s comforting. It’s the Who that is watching that’s important. You see, when my granddaughter glances up to the balcony, she isn’t concerned with all the people up there. She isn’t wanting the recognition of just anyone. She is looking specifically for the ones she knows loves her.
It’s the same with us. There are a lot of people watching us every day. It can be unsettling, even nerve-wracking at times. But I’ve learned, or I should say, am learning more each day, that I don’t need the approval of just anyone. I’m looking only for the approval of One. If I can see my Father smiling and giving me that nod of approval, my heart is fuller than if I had received all the applause of man.
My granddaughter seems to learn new things each week and improves on tasks already learned. Sometimes she has fallen flat on her face when attempting something new. But she gets up and tries again. She’s growing stronger and has received words of affirmation from her instructors. But she still longs and wants to hear that approval from her family. When we tell her how well she did, her face glows.
Again, we are the same. We should be working each day to perform tasks given to us by our Lord. It’s not always easy. Sometimes we fall flat on our faces, too. As we grow in our faith, we will be given more to do. And yes, it is nice to receive encouraging words and even praise from those around us. However, the words I most want to hear, the very reason I keep working hard at the tasks assigned to me, is so that I can hear my Savior say one day, “Well done.”
So, look to the “balcony,” the heights of heaven, my friend. Our Savior is watching and is so ready to give you that smile and encouragement to keep going.
Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over us. May we live in that knowledge of Your presence each moment. Help us to live for You consistently, and not worry about what others may think of us. Your approval of us is all we need! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.