the grace of looking down

My shoulders slump.

My eyes fill with tears.

‘The waiting, God, is so hard. Is this dream a dream from you or is it rooted in my selfish ambition?’

I imagine with Abraham what it was like to wait 25 years for the promise of God to be fulfilled. What must it have been like year after year, month after month, day after day to wait and believe?

We are not all Abraham’s. Not all of us have been called to leave our homes, our family, and our city, but we are all called to believe and to trust.

That’s hard. It’s harder than hard. Sometimes it seems impossible. How do I trust when I cannot see? How do I trust when I do not know where I am going? How do I trust when it seems as though God has left me to flounder?

I know it’s been said to ‘look up to Jesus’ and ‘keep your eyes focused on him’ and ‘look above your circumstances and focus on Him, ‘and all those sayings are true, I’ve even said it myself, but sometimes it seems like a trite saying when I just can’t see Him.

The thing I love about Abraham is that he didn’t deny his circumstances. He faced the reality of his circumstances. His circumstances were that he and his wife were unable to bear children because of their age, yet they were given the promise of a son. So Abraham believed and it is credited to him as righteousness. He faced reality, and he believed.

Those aren’t two contradictory statements. In fact, we can learn how to navigate our sticky, painful circumstances if we follow Abraham’s example.

Looking up isn’t always the answer. Sometimes we have to look down. Sometimes we have to accept our reality and look at it for what it is. Struggling with idols? Struggling in your relationships? Struggling with your church? Struggling with past regret? Don’t deny it. See it for what it is.

And then see Jesus in the middle of itLook for him. Ask him to reveal himself. Ask him to change you and grow you. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing Jesus in the middle of our circumstances.

Will you see him in the beauty of a sunrise and thank him for another day to wake up and walk with him? Will you see him in the delicacy of a tiny wildflower that could be overlooked during a wander through the woods? Will you see him in the smile of your children? Will you see him in the rustle of the autumn leaves as they slowly change their hue from green to yellow gold, fiery red, and burnished bronze? Even in your hurt will you see him?

He calls us to believe and to trust.

Can we believe like Abraham even when the circumstances seem and feel impossible?

We can.

We will.

Faith does not make things easy, but it does make them possible.


2 thoughts on “the grace of looking down

  1. Seeing the hard reality and yet having faith to move forward… A big thing to wrap my head around, and yet one of the important things God is teaching me. It’s step by step, day by day, being honest with myself about myself, my heart, my level of obedience, and my desires. And THEN asking God to help me do the right thing, and THEN obeying what he asked me to do. Abraham was a friend of God-I want to be a friend of God also.


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