I'm pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings to share her thoughts with the readers of I Was Just Thinking . . . . I hope you enjoy Staci's encouraging words — and take advantage of the opportunity to pick up a free e-book version of her book, Deep in the Heart, from Amazon (2 days only — see details at the end of this post)
Sometimes, there just is no other word for it.
In a sermon I once heard, Dr. Lee A. Simpson related the story of Abram. This was a man who God had given a promise to. God’s promise was that Abram would be the father of many nations, but as Abram got older, he looked around, and this thing that God had promised just was not happening. And Abram began to question God and question the promise. It began to look to Abram like God just didn’t know or understand how things worked down here on Earth.
So Abram went into his tent, and he started praying and explaining to God that youth had passed him by. He was no longer a young man. In fact, he was old, and so was his wife, and this whole father of nations business was just not happening the way Abram had thought it would when God promised him this.
How many of you have been there? I know I have. “God, I thought You were going to use my writing to touch other people’s lives. What’s up with that? I feel like I sit here and I do all of this stuff, and what’s it even accomplishing? Is it helping anybody? Because frankly, I don’t see it. I don’t see Your plan. I don’t see You in this like I thought I would.”
Then (I love this), God said two words to Abram. “Step outside.”
You see, Abram was in his tent, he was in his own little world. In that tent he was safe. He probably had his bowl right by his favorite mat—you know, like that glass you have right by your favorite chair. He probably had all of his little knick-knacks just so and his schedule down pat. And then God came and said, “Step outside.”
God tells all of us, “Step outside YOUR comfort zone. Step outside YOUR plans. Step outside what YOU think is possible, and when you do, you will step into MY world.”
As Abram came out of that tent of his own limited experiences, his own limited vision, his own limited perspective, he saw the stars above him, and God said, “Count them.”
Understand, Abram had been used to praying in his tent. What had he been counting there? Tent wires? He didn’t think about what was outside because from inside his tent, he couldn't see outside. So the stars outside that tent were amazing to behold. “Lord, if I could count them, they would number as the stars.”
And here's something really cool. Did you know that if you go outside at night and hold a dime out in front of you at arm's length, you will block from your sight (if you could see them with the naked eye) 15 million stars? And that's one dime's worth!
In fact, the lesson then went on that God wanted Abram not to just count the stars that he could see but those that he couldn't see as well. The truth is there are so many more stars than even the ones we can see. As Dr. Simpson says, “God wants you to count the stars you can see, and the ones you can only imagine…”
Ah, that’s beautiful. Count the stars you can only imagine.
That's how many blessings God has in store for you. For He made the same promise to you.
Ephesians 3:20 says it like this:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
So my question to you is this: Are you inside that tent? Are you comfortable where you are in the knowledge that you have, or are you ready to come when God calls you to step outside?
“This is more than a romance. The author cuts straight to the heart of God–love. God is love. Even through unexpected tragedies. And we can overcome evil with good–by His love.”
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Thanks to Staci for sharing these truly encouraging words. Have you been feeling a tug to “step outside” of your own comfort zone? Will counting your “stars” help give you the courage to take that first step?