Abraham wanted a child. He dreamed of a child. He told the Lord very honestly in chapter 15 of Genesis that his servant Eliezar would inherit his estate since he had no heir from his own body. It was a logical statement since it had been some time ago when Abraham travelled from Ur to Canaan–the time when God had first told him he would be made into a great nation.
What God does next is something we can embrace when the fulfillment of a promise seems long-coming and unseen. God shows Abraham a picture of the promise:
Then He [God] brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Gen.15:5
The first four words of God strike me as important: “Look now toward heaven…” God spurred the faith of his friend, Abraham by allowing him to behold a picture of the promise under the night sky.
This makes me ask: How often do we remind ourselves of the promises of God? And how often do we choose to behold the reminders of God’s promises and dreams? And how often do we tell ourselves to behold God Himself?
Abraham’s dream was a child, and God refined it with a generational perspective: a bigger dream, yes, His dream was a bigger one that involved vast descendants and a nation He could call His own.
And God knew the importance of perspective. Being inside a tent, Abraham’s eyes would have constant reminders of everything he had at the moment: many possessions, a loving wife, faithful servants, but no son to behold. It was a perspective that God needed to shift. So God “lifted the ceiling” by changing Abraham’s view. Look now toward heaven…” said Adonai.
I believe that when it comes to clinging to the promises of God, we must be willing for our perspective to change. God often gives us moments of beholding the “stars”– affirmations of a dream; reminders of a promise He has placed in our hearts. It is our responsibility to accept God’s invitation to dream with Him, even if it means turning aside from logic and relying on His immutable character to fulfill His promises to us.
The fulfilment of God’s promises to us may not develop the way we want them to. They may not even look the way we imagined them to be (God has a way of refining our dreams, letting them die, and then resurrecting them). But God knows what He is doing. Furthermore, He takes our dreams and allows us— the carriers of His promises— to develop inwardly, too, so we become strong enough to handle the demands of His promises and HIS dreams.
In the course of our journey with Him, we will also realize that more than anything else, God is our ultimate dream—our ultimate promise. He is more precious than gold, silver, sons, daughters, or anything we can ask for. And because He is the ultimate dream, we can choose to behold Him and allow our perspectives to be consumed by Him. As the Psalmist says, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).
Are our eyes always on the LORD? In the coming days, let’s watch what we behold, fanning into flame our hunger for God and His promises and dreams for us.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.