We have already started eating from this year’s apple crop! One of the earliest varieties to ripen in the Pacific Northwest is the Ginger Gold…so good and sweet and crunchy and juicy! The rest of this year’s apple crop is just around the bend! An expression used in the Old Testament book of Zechariah is quite remarkable. In verse 8 of chapter 2 is this parenthetical phrase–‘for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye’. A gentle reminder from Lord through His prophet of how He feels about us–we’re the ‘apple of His eye’. But what does that mean exactly? The ‘apple of the eye’ is a poetic way of speaking about the pupil in our eye. The eye is one of the most complex organs created by God in our bodies. But have something touch it, and the pain can be excruciating. A few years back my wife and I stayed at the old lodge at Crater Lake in Oregon. Gorgeous volcano-created lake, deep as deep can be producing the bluest water we’d ever seen. We drove to the other side of the lake, parked our van and walked down a rather steep and lengthy trail to the water’s edge of Crater Lake. But what a windy day it was. Blowing in all directions. That’s when a very tiny stone flew up in the air, got behind my sunglasses and lodged itself firmly in the side of my eye. Ooooh the pain! It was piercing and constant and unrelenting. And this was in the side of my eyeball. The pupil is even more tender and vulnerable, as you can imagine. Back to the Bible–so, we are like the apple of God’s eye to Him. He feels for us with an intensity we can hardly imagine. Let that sink in…think about what was just written. But let me be honest here. How many times have I felt, not what I believed, but felt that God seemed way out there in outer space; and me, I’m just little old me, down here in but a tiny corner of this great big world. Anybody out there? Does He care? Can He find us? And hear us? And help us? With those questions of the heart, we need to hear and let sink in again and again that parenthetical phrase. As the apple of God’s eye, our troubles and worries and fears are as close to Him, to His heart, to His eyes as they can possibly be. Whether we feel it or not, whether we open our eyes of belief, God loves us and whatever gets in our eyes, gets in His. Whatever grabs our hearts has been in His all along. Agreed? Are you with me? Let me recommend, as I am to myself, reading Zechariah chapter 2 but also to keep repeating all day long, and all week long, and all month long, just keep going and repeating, ‘I am the apple of God’s eye’! That’s better even than a Ginger Gold apple!