Looking up we can see the sky, but the sky isn’t the limit. Looking up we can see the Lord.
Seeing the Lord depends on our outlook. We can put our head in the sand and refuse to see anything. We can put our head in the clouds and keep on dreaming. Or we can be curious, open our eyes wide and discover the truth.
We can paint the world around us black and white and only notice our differences instead of seeing what brings us together. What is the magic bond connecting us? Here it is: We are all human and we are all created by one wonderful Creator.
Looking up comes natural. In our heart of hearts we know God is there. We want to connect with Him because He is the reason we are here. Who can understand the intricately woven fabrics of our hearts? Who can get through the maze of neurons firing up in our brains? Our thought processes are many, our shifting emotions multi-layered. None of us is one-dimensional. The more we understand this, the better we fare.
Looking up is a change in perspective. I believe one reason why people climb mountains is to get a better view. And a better view is what we crave when we temporarily step away from an overwhelming reality. We want to see the big picture, the grand scheme of things.
Looking up is talking with God and listening to His input. Listening to God expands our world view and shapes us into strong and patient human beings. What the world needs now, more than ever, is patience. Impatience successfully eradicates life. Patience, on the other hand, builds up and heals. Here is an illustration of God’s patience by the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 42:3):
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
We know what often happens to bruised people: They get more bruises. A smoldering wick needs to be rekindled, not thrown out and trampled into the dust.
Looking up, our heart is transformed and that changes the way we see things. We look at the world through eyes of mercy.
God works in mysterious ways. Recognizing that God is God, we let go and let be. That does not mean we give up and do nothing. We do not lay down in resignation. Faith in the Lord is raising us up to good expectations.
As long as the Sun rises upon the earth we have work to do. Change naturally requires a lot of work, which can quickly become overwhelming. I believe that is why God gave us a regular day of rest. This is when we hit the Pause button. This is our Time Out. Without rest we forget who we are and who God is, and with scarcely any rest we cannot keep up the good work, as much as we try and as good as our intentions may be.
In the midst of challenging times we need to be reminded that the Lord is sovereign. “Stop fighting your own fight,” God says, “and know that I am the Lord, supreme among the nations, supreme over the world.” God is right here, fighting the good fight with us. His heart is with us, His Spirit is all over us. Looking at a serious problem is one thing; looking up is quite another. We need to do both to be successful.
Change is not impossible and God is real. He is the reason for the hope we have. God will be exalted among all nations. He will be exalted in the earth.
Around 600 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Daniel received a terrifying vision. It had to do with brutal bloodshed and what he called “a great war.” Overwhelming as it was, he began to fast and pray. In response to his prayers, God decided to show something very special to him. For a brief moment He lifted the curtain revealing that everywhere on this planet there are angels around us.
Daniel eventually wrote a book about this experience. The “man” Daniel refers to in his writings represents a certain angel who had a message for him. He said (Daniel 10:12-13):
“Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray
for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been
heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days
the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of
the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of
the kingdom of Persia.”
Peeking behind that curtain, we become acutely aware of what it means when we say that God is for us and not against us. Indeed, we have armies of angels fighting on our behalf. Just try to internalize this little tidbit of information to see how angels make a profound difference in our lives, often without us even noticing.
hardship, I believe it’s important to detach our eyes from a conflict and take
a moment to look up. There is a particular movie scene in “The Fisher King”
that comes to mind. Jeff Bridges plays a former radio DJ who is severely
depressed because of a terrible mistake he made. While swinging on a rope to
break into one of the biggest mansions in New York City he says:
“Thank God nobody looks up in this town!”
a human tendency to not look up, but to focus on the things at hand. In fact,
we can get so absorbed that we end up seeing nothing else but the one thing
that is bothering us. However, as we do look up we have a chance to notice
things we haven’t noticed before. Our horizons expand. Looking up, we get to be
encouraged because God wants to lift our spirit. So – let’s look up more often,