As I’m moving along in this journey called life, I’m realizing that it’s all about perspective. It’s about the lens you see the world through, where you look to when things become blurry.
The past few weeks have been intense. Moving to a new city, being on my own, transitioning out of a class of twenty and into a class of forty thousand, meeting loads of new people who don’t necessarily have the same beliefs as I do. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of growth in this short amount of time. It’s honestly kind of blowing my mind.
I think sometimes it’s a safe zone for me to just tell myself, “keep your eyes upward and everything will be ok. Don’t look outward to the world, just up.” The first couple of weeks after I moved in, I found myself praying this often, especially when I found myself in an uncomfortable situation. “God, keep my eyes always looking up. Keep me from being distracted by looking outward to the world.” I had this mindset that everything would be fine and dandy if I just kept my eyes up there.
Then, this past weekend, the pastor at the church I visited preached on Habakkuk. It’s that three-chapter-long book towards the end of the old testament…you know? To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what Habakkuk was even about. I walked in to church hoping that God would give me some direction in getting accustomed to this huge shift in my life, and being the broken person I am, I thought to myself, “this isn’t what I was looking for.”
BOY, WAS I WRONG. (Also, reality check to self–when has what you’ve been looking for ever worked out??)
You see, God has this incredible way of meeting you right where you’re at. After the pastor explained Habakkuk’s struggle of living in a time of immense injustice and violence, he finished the point with Habakkuk’s words, which basically said, “where are you, Lord? Are you just going to let all this happen without doing anything about it?”
The screen went blank. The next words that appeared literally gave me chills.
At that moment I felt God speaking to me clearer than ever.
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
All this time I had been like a little kid hiding under a blanket, thinking that if I just cover my eyes up, all the bad stuff would disappear. That’s what I would think every time I’d pray “keep my eyes upward.” But God lovingly told me otherwise. “Do not worry, My child, I know what I am doing. Did you ever stop to think…perhaps I am using you for My greater purpose in this phase of your life? Have faith. Not faith you can muster up, but the faith I have given you in Christ. That faith will give you the courage to look out into the world I have placed you in. Trust that I am in control.”
Later on that week, I met with my Bible study for the first time. I flipped open my packet to page 1 and saw this image.
LOOK UPWARD in conversation with Me. LOOK OUTWARD in fellowship with the Christ community I’ve given you, but also go out and share My love with others. LOOK INWARD. Let My Word be your Guide. Do not be afraid, for it is not your strength that will accomplish these things. I am at the center, and it’s My faith that I’ve gifted to you, beloved.
God speaks. He is not silent. And He is mightily at work in the world.
And it’s in Him alone we find the confidence to look outward.
“You can’t truly rest until every area in your life rests in God.” -A.W. Tozer