I sat at my cousin’s piano and began playing a song I was anxious to sing to her. It was a song I hadn’t heard in over 20 years, but I had recently downloaded it and the song was singing to my heart all over again. I began singing: “You’re the one that I have chosen. You are mine and that’s forever. I will love you like no other, in my house we’ll be together….” I was maybe that far into the song when my cousin exclaimed “I know that song! Oh, my goodness I haven’t heard that song in forever!” She joined me at the piano as we continued to sing: “When you call Me I will hear you. Always know that I am near you watching over to protect you. In my arms just remember….” Both of us got a little teary-eyed as we sang the chorus…”Whoever touches you touches the apple of My eye, Oh, my child…you are my treasure, in Me you can hide….”**
We both stopped and shared the stories of our lives at the time we first learned this song. She, a daughter of missionaries to New Guinea, lived her school days in a mission boarding house in Australia where the staff excelled at discipline and stumbled in love. Through the awkward years of loneliness and growing up away from her family this song became a comfort. Someone had recorded the album that this song came from onto a cassette and gave it to my cousin who soon wore it out from all the playing and rewinding.
I was in the sixth grade and my parents were in the midst of their first separation. My world was changing and I was afraid. I already had experienced rejection and pain from people in my life who were supposed to love and treasure me. I like my cousin had a cassette of the album “Benny From Here” and I wore it out. This song among a few others in that album pulled me through.
The song comes from the scripture in Zechariah 2:8 which says:
8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-
The “apple of my eye” seems to be an antiquated phrase, but the symbolism is that no one can touch you without God feeling it acutely as if someone were sticking their finger directly into His eye.
There is something beautiful about being treasured. To be regarded as precious and cherished is the cry of every heart. People we love stumble and fail us badly. Sometimes they do not treat us as treasures. Sometimes they break our hearts. To know that God loves and cherishes me is something that cannot be taken from me no matter how badly I stumble or those around me stumble.
These words–“treasure, cherish, value, esteem” come from the heart and character of God and are the same words He speaks over you today. Listen closely and you can hear Him singing….
“When your lonely, when you’re threatened, if your tired, and scared and troubled; when you’re burdened, and if you’re running, call to Me and hear me answer. Whoever touches you, touches the apple of My eye, oh my child….you are my treasure, in Me you can hide.”**
**From the song: “Whoever Touches You” by Benny Hester on his album Benny from Here