Look Up.

I am the first born in my family. I like to say I’m a “leader.” My siblings would say I “nag.” For my own dignity, let’s compromise and say I’m “bossy.” I’m also extremely driven. I love moving forward. I love working hard and seeing the fruit of my labors. I don’t give up quickly. A trait that my mom likes to illustrate by telling the story of how I learned to roller skate.

The house I grew up in had a big grassy hill in the backyard. One day, after getting new roller skates, I strapped them on and took to the hill to learn how to use them. My mom told me I couldn’t learn how to roller skate by going down a hill. I was determined to get it, and prove her wrong. Unsurprisingly, I fell. A lot. But, guess what? I learned how to roller skate going down a hill.

Now, when I’m presented with a challenge, my mom and I will laugh and say, “Alyssa. You can’t learn to roller skate going down a hill,” knowing that I will prove this obstacle wrong. Even if it hurts.

All my life, I’ve pushed for my goals, regardless of what people thought or said. Did words hurt me? Absolutely. But, I always set my eyes on what I’ve wanted, and got it. I started working as soon as I could to pay for a car and independence. I graduated with my first college degree at 18. I’ve taken college level math classes, and science classes. Neither of which I enjoyed. But, I couldn’t let them beat me, so I passed.

As a child, and as a college student this has proved beneficial. School and work has never been easy, but it’s always been conquered.

But, as a Child of God…this has proved most challenging.

It would seem that in regards to this area of my life, I’m a slow learner. The Lord has consistently put me in positions where I can fight, and kick, and work as hard as I’d like, but until He says yes, I stay put. He’s done this in the area of school, career, and relationships. It would seem that all of these things will only happen in His timing, no matter how badly I want them, or what I try to do to speed up the process.

Why? Because, my Heavenly Father does not concern Himself with what will make me most happy, but what will give Him the most glory. I’ve had to realize that I am spoiled. Horribly, and repulsively spoiled by my own ambition.

Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy. It often feels like a balancing act between being okay, and grasping desperately for some shred of hope. Some days, it is hard to even utter the words, “God is enough,” because in the wait, there is a lot of heart wrenching doubts about Him. I’ve doubted that He satisfies. That the Lord remembers me. That He cares about my wait. That He hears my cries. That He wants to bless me.

In the midst of this, at times, agonizing wait, the Lord speaks to me through His Word and in my prayers. Every time I start to dwell on, or whine about, things I’m waiting for, I hear the Lord gently whisper, “Look up, Child. Up. Up.”

I read Genesis 15 this week, and my eyes focused on a couple of phrases. While God is addressing Abram, about His promise for Abram, I couldn’t help but think the Lord was telling me something similar. “Look up, and count the stars…”

“Look to the heavens…”

It is incredibly challenging to see His faithfulness when my eyes are focused on this World’s shortcomings. God didn’t ask Abram, “Well, how old are you and your wife, again?” He didn’t ask to be told all of the problems that seem to stand in the way of the blessing. Instead, He told Abram to look up, and reiterated His promise. And Abram believed the Lord, and He counted him righteous.

“The promises of blessings from God take patient, and steadfast faith as we wait on God.” –Phil Spagnolo.

In Colossians, Paul tells the church, “Set your minds upon the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (3:2-3)

This means, that God has already proved Himself faithful to bless me. He saved me. So, even if I never get what I’m (sometimes not) so patiently waiting for here on earth, He has already done more abundantly than I could think to ask.

It is better to wait on the Lord than to go through the agony of pushing for our own way. Those of us who wait, may wait for forever, and it will mean all glory to God. He is better than anything we may be waiting on, and hoping for, here on Earth. So, we must look up.

“My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.”

Psalm 62:5

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