Picture by: Christa Kay; Topsham, Maine
What do you see beyond this branch? A friend of mine took this picture and right away I felt the urge to write about my clouded vision and how I can become too self-dependent. How about you? Can you look beyond your situation and cling to God?
Sometimes we just have to look beyond what’s in front of us to see God’s provision. Sometimes there is a world of love, peace and forgiveness beyond what we are capable of seeing. When our vision becomes blurred, we will indeed miss the beautiful-rhythmic-flowing-waters designed by God’s hands.
Unlike many, I like when the trees are bare so that I can survey what’s beyond them. When I lived on a farm in Kansas, I would take long walks through the cold timber observing what lurked beyond the bare trees. I was reminded of God’s love while gazing upon the deer tracks, the beaver dams, the bird nests, the flowing brook and the frosted grass. It was quiet…still…pretty…and while spending time just observing God’s wonderful works, I would be reminded to look beyond what was in front of me.
Why is it that we have a hard time seeing beyond what’s in front of us? Are we afraid of what might be lurking about, possibly being a threat to our own self-dependence? Are we afraid to rely on what we can’t see? I know at times I am, but I also know that during those times, God is trying to break me of my own self-dependence so that He can bless me.
Look at Genesis 32. Jacob faced a crisis. He was returning to the land of Canaan in obedience to God, but that meant he would have to face his brother, Esau, whom he had cheated 20 years prior. Jacob wanted to push this situation away. Do you experience times where you want the problem to be pushed away. Jacob begins to wrestle with God in vs’s 22-32.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the fork of the Joabbok. After he had sent them home across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched and he wrestled with the man. Then the mans said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Skip to verse 31: The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
I have wrestled with God during times of my life where I have limped towards my victory. How about you?
God answered Jacob’s prayer for protection from Esau. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Do you struggle with God and situations? Look beyond what is in front of you.
I have learned over the years that when I cling to Him during the good and the bad, He will allow me to see beyond my issues. How about you? Won’t you cling to Him so that you can see beyond your problems?
Our greatest victories come out of our greatest defeats.