Heaven Came Down! Part 2

Look up!

Are you concerned about the state of your life or the state of the world we live in?


“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains and ask, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip … He will keep your soul.” Psalms 121. 


Envision an ancient village. The villagers toil in their tasks and responsibilities; farming and harvesting, planting and growing, buying and trading, eating and drinking, caring for their own and their neighbors, best as they could. Some days, life was hard; other days life was still hard, but the love and kindness of family and neighbors provided a measure of happiness, a reason to live.


A wandering visitor came upon the village. The visitor was a man of great travels. He was educated in the finest schools and had mingled with some of the greatest minds of nobility and government. He was skilled in the art of living life, seeking wisdom, and observing the behaviors and norms of people. 


As was his custom, he wandered in the village, greeting the citizens, inquiring and asking questions with great kindness, care and interest. It was not easily apparent, but he discovered that the King had indeed visited their village and had touched their hearts with a perpetual state of grace. The king had blessed them indeed. The people were a kind, humble and peaceful lot. But he noticed something odd; the people had a strange limitation. There was something missing. He couldn’t understand this missing element: they worked hard, they loved their families and they were kind to their neighbors. They had all the makings of a healthy community; but nevertheless, they lacked.  


They were peaceful citizens but they didn’t have peace. They were kind and diligent but were burdened with fear. They loved one another, but a sense of dread remained upon them. Why the fear and burdens, even though they lived in grace?


The visitor fell asleep that evening pondering these peculiarities in his mind. As often happens, a good night’s sleep is greeted in the morning with clarity. The visitor considered a possible explanation in his mind as he rose from his slumber. With interest and care, he ventured out into the village to determine if his theory was valid. 


Upon further interaction, polite questioning and observation, he determined his hypothesis was true. He described it in his journal this way: 


I have discovered a most bizarre and puzzling characteristic of the kind and diligent people of this village. They are unable to look up. These precious people are plagued with a limited range of motion within their neck. They can only look forward and see what is right in front of them. They are unable to raise their eyes upward.


They have never seen the horizon in order to behold the vastness of their world. They have never looked up to see the wonder of the sun shining or the brilliant blue sky or the ponderous formations of clouds. They have never seen the stars to realize the breadth, length, depth and height of the universe that surrounds them.


They are good and kind people but they can only see directly in front of them. Their focus is limited to only the immediate circumstances before them.


They are unable to look up and comprehend the extensive vastness of the universe and understand God’s Word that says, ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.’


They are unable to look up to the place where the eagles soar and understand God’s Word that says, ‘Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles …’


Christians, are you looking up? 


When our view is limited to what is right in front of us, we limit ourselves and our hope. Yes, we have a horizontal view of the good things of this life; the kindness of many people and the love of our families. That helps us get through the day. There are many good people around us but we also see the evil and angry venues of this world, and that brings us down.


We need more than what we only see with our physical eyes, and we have more! We have been blessed with an upward view that will overcome the finite view we have when focusing on this world. Help us Lord to look up!


Paradoxically, when we add a steady and consistent upward view to our perspective, we actually become better citizens in the horizontal world we live in. When we look up, we are empowered and able to apply Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” 

We are living in difficult times in America. It is challenging to stay on the straight path. Sometimes, all we can do is lift our head and say ‘help me; help me to trust in you Lord.’ And that is enough. Begin with a simple prayer of help me, Lord; I’m hurting, I feel lost. Raise me up and help me.


“Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is … Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2


Brother Lawrence reminds of the simple joy of looking up and consciously experiencing the presence of God:


The holiest, most universal, and most necessary practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God. To practice the presence of God is to take pleasure in and become accustomed to His divine company, speaking humbly and conversing lovingly in your heart with Him at all times and at every moment, especially in times of temptation, pain, spiritual dryness, revulsion to spiritual things, and even unfaithfulness and sin. 


We must apply ourselves continually to the end that all our actions may be a little spontaneous conversation with God, coming from purity and simplicity of heart. 


Practicing the Presence of God 

by Brother Lawrence


Father, we lift up our eyes and realize that You are here with us. Thank You for reminding us of Your ever-present love and care for us. We sometimes struggle with the difficulties of this world. Sometimes, we can only see right in front of us. So thank You that You don’t abandon us when we struggle. Instead, You actually draw near. Our struggles do not disappoint You; they don’t cause You to furl your eyebrow toward us; You don’t tell us to toughen up. No, You wrap Your arms around us in our weakness and You keep us and protect us. What a kind and gentle Savior You are. We love You for You first loved us.