Look up!

Photo credit: Miss Kristen Valdez, Alaska
Photo credit: Miss Kristen
Valdez, Alaska

Our sight is so basic, yet so powerful in determining our direction in life. Sight guides the steps we take, keeps us from tripping over objects in our path, gives us joy in meeting friends and family, and feeds our souls with beauty and light.

The opposite can also be true. Sight can take us places we don’t want to go – or never intended to go. It can bury us in circumstances and problems.

Peter experienced this first hand. When he looked up at Jesus, he could walk on water, but when he looked down and around at the waves storming beside him, he sank.

When I read the story in Matthew 14, I’m tempted to mutter, “Just look up, Peter. You can walk above the waves if you only keep your eyes on Jesus.”

Though it’s a simple command, “looking up” isn’t always easy to practice. Life is full of demands and worries that distract us and pull us down. We all encounter our share of waves and storms. The danger is getting so absorbed in them that we become blinded to the only way out – looking up to Christ.

The Old Testament story of God testing Abraham is such a good example of this. Though his heart must have been breaking, Abraham obeyed God’s voice and set about to offer up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice.

God had no intention of letting Abraham kill his son; He was but testing Abraham and his priorities. Before Abraham laid a hand against his son, the angel of the Lord spoke out to stop him. Listen to what the next verse says.

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (Genesis 22:13, KJV, emphasis added).

When Abraham looked up, he found God’s solution to his trial, the ram. And what a beautiful metaphor that ram became!

We just celebrated Easter or Resurrection Sunday, the climax of the salvation story. God provided His own Son, Jesus Christ, as the substitute sacrifice. We have but to look to Him for our salvation – and look to Him in the middle of whatever storms life brings.

Isaiah 45:22 says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (emphasis added).

Facing a trial? Feeling discouraged? Look up to the Lord. He is not only our salvation, but also “the lifter” of our heads (Psalm 3:3).

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