This year Ready for the Road Ahead is taking on a new direction. It is one that follows the grand theme of sight in all aspects which runs throughout Scripture. My weekly writings will be excerpts from a book of the same name which should be published (Lord willing) later this year.
My youth group had traveled most of the day; 12 hours to be exact. When we reached our destination in the heart of West Virginia and I stepped out of the car my wobbly legs caused me to put my arm on the car for balance and as I did I glanced upward. I was met with a night sky I had never seen before except at the planetarium. Not only was the Milky Way in all its glory stretched from one side of the horizon to the other, it seemed as if God had flung a million stars across the expanse as well. The sight was breath-taking. One of my favorite Bible verses immediately came to mind, “When I look at the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast made; what is man that Thou art mindful of him and the son of man that Thou dost care for him?” (Ps. 8:3-4).
When Abraham first encountered the God who created that endless expanse in the heavens the conversation was a little unusual considering the polytheistic background Abraham came from. But we have a sense that Abraham did not ascribe to the religious opinions of his culture in that he recognizes Who he is talking to. God tells Abraham that he will have descendants, which at 75 must have seemed incredulous (Gen. 12:1-3). As Abraham’s story continues and the years pass by with no heir in sight it becomes a huge question in Abraham’s mind, “Just how are you going to accomplish this Lord?” God’s answer is to escort Abraham outside of his tent. “Look at the heavens and count the stars- if you can!” God challenges him (Gen. 15:1-21). I love to imagine that scene, often thinking that what Abraham saw was akin to the amazing sky I saw that night long ago in West Virginia. But that is the essence of faith- seeing something beyond what you see.
Once a small group of my photographic friends and I met up at a community park on a chilly day in early Spring. It was an odd time of year to be thinking about taking pictures outdoors. The Northeast is notoriously dreary at that time of year. It was my task to show them that there are pictures ANYWHERE if you have the eyes to see them. We had to look beyond the obvious and see the photographic possibilities before us. Abraham had to look into the night sky and see that with God the possibilities were as limitless as the number of stars in the sky. If God could create a million stars, why wouldn’t he be able to create an heir for a barren couple?
I often look at my life and see limitations. Ideas and dreams float around in my head but when I think of accomplishing them I see myself as limited as Abraham and Sarah. The mistake I make is that I transfer my limitations on to God. But every now and then He escorts me “outside my tent”, makes me look up into the sky and says, “I am the God of a million stars. Don’t you think I can orchestrate countless possibilities for your life too?”
So if I’m tempted to think of my circumstances or human frailty as a limitation or restriction God cannot overcome, it is wise to take another look at the God who created all those stars. He is the God who defeated an army with pots and torches (Jud. 7:15-23), enabled a nation to cross a raging river on dry land (Jos. 3:1-17), protected 3 young men from a fiery furnace (Dan. 3:1-30) and gave a barren couple a son (Gen. 21:1-8) and so much more. So why do I think He will not help me to fulfill that which He designed for me to do (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6)? The God of a million stars will always be the God of endless possibilities. All I have to do is look up into the sky and believe.
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
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