Remember the song, “Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you. So let’s just praise the Lord.” God promised Abraham to bless all people through him. But time passed and Abram and Sarai had no children and Abram grew tired of waiting. Each month, no pregnancy, until the praise and promise seemed hollow. Genesis 15 tells of the deep discouragement of the man we call “the father of the faith.” Even heroes in the Bible knew the depths of despair as well as the heights of communion with God! God visited again and renewed his promise to Abram. “Look up in the sky and count the stars.” Some people count sheep when they can’t sleep but Abram was told to count the stars. That is the magnitude of God’s blessing.
Despair is when I turn my eyes onto myself, my limited abilities and failings. It focuses on what I don’t have. Faith is turning our eyes to the stars, to the heavens, to God and focuses on the God who created the stars and keeps them in orbit and who exists beyond our ability to see or imagine.
“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Jesus had not been born and that part of our epic story is yet to be revealed. But Abram trusted God and believed that God is able to do far more than he could even think.
I loved the original Star Trek where each week we went “where no man has ever gone.” We were encouraged to think of worlds that had yet to be discovered. Faith is like that. We take our eyes off ourselves and focus on the heavens and on God’s ability and trustworthiness to carry us to places people have yet to discover.
So where is the growing edge for you today, the area where you have waited so long for God to do a miracle? Perhaps you know the agony of prayer for a wayward child. Perhaps it is the desired promotion or partner. Perhaps it is a dream for health. Abram trusted God when all seemed lost. He did not know how God would fulfill his promise but he believed. Faith is not believing you will receive but believing in the God who is able. We do not know how God will fulfill the desires of our heart but we know he can and he sees and cares. Patience and waiting is hard. “Look at the sky and count the stars.”