Have you noticed the stars lately? Taken the time to look up? Shining above us, silently declaring their obedience with stationary positions. The sky is endless; God’s blackboard of promises. It’s also the venue displaying His glory. I don’t know about you, but my night sky gets cloudy from time to time. Obscured by stormy circumstance and causing me to lose sight of God’s tailored plan.
Clouds shrouded Abram’s view too. Dedicated to God and the original pattern of a surrendered life. Yet, like me, he felt a questioning that ebbed and flowed with passing years. The Bible records the first tithe in Genesis 14. Melchizedek receives Abram’s tenth and in less than one inch of text, God unwrapped His secret plans to this committed servant.
And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).
Sparkling diamonds against black velvet skies. Stars used to tally a new nation. Abram stared up in wonderment as celestial promises were made regarding his posterity. From the expanse of heaven, Israel twinkled down illuminating the darkness. Holy astronomy.
Sometimes, I stay indoors too long. Life’s demands keep me busy. So busy, that I’m focused inward with restricted vision; trained only on what’s before me. Like He did with Abram, I’m led outside, into the fresh air of purpose and inhale deeply. My eyes need adjusting to the view. His view. I’m invited to leave earth’s confines and move freely about God’s domain. Everything looks different from this vantage point. Suddenly, what appeared as insurmountable problems are now reduced to manageable sizes. Worries and concerns melt away in God’s majestic presence. Weights and pressures drug about like millstones, become airborne as His faithfulness envelops me. My outlook assumes His, and I find myself lying down once more in His contented green pastures.
There are times the Lord must take us outside. Must separate us from what has become our routine, to look up instead of down, and reestablish His pristine rhythm. He must change the status quo and shift the gear for our acceleration. After all, His reputation is on the line. Over the decades of knowing Him personally, I’ve received numerous promises from Him. Hope for things unseen, yet authorized for fulfillment. A hallowed “Purchase Order” already in hand but the transaction incomplete. In this silent interim we grow. Likened to pregnancy, each month, each trimester brings us closer to birth. We are secluded inside our tent. Waiting on a word we sometimes question will manifest. It’s easy to believe the promise, but what about the prolonged delivery?
“Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45
Just like Abram, we must exit our tents and look up toward heaven, counting the innumerable. For unless we’re willing to change our geography and go outside, we’ll never see the stars. Our destiny is not inside the dusty tent, but rather in the open and displayed above us. God intentionally chooses the dark to reveal His light. Have you tried looking at the stars in the daylight? It’s in the dark, the secret places, that the Lord shines brightest and we see Him clearest. None are tasked to find stars at noon, only to exit our pre-conceived expectations that often lead to misunderstanding God’s movements. Without that shift, our purpose is hidden in plain sight and we can become hopeless. Or worse, think that God has stopped working on our behalf. He hasn’t. It’s all about perfect timing. We simply need to unfold that yellowed, dog-eared paper and reread our personal promises. After all, time crawled long before Isaac ever did. Let God take you outside. Maybe it’s time the two of you went stargazing again.
Copyright © 2014 Susan M. Watkins. Used by permission.