By Melissa Elizondo
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15:4-5.
Ever have those moments where you get dragged down by the every-day grind? When I first found out I was pregnant, I told myself I’d never get stressed by “the little things.” I’d be one of those moms who let the dishes pile up, be okay with piles of dirty laundry and play with my kids more than do pesky adult things like budget.
Two kids later, and I am more stressed out at the pile of dishes in the sink than seeing the dentist. The moment last night when I’m running around Target searching for that elusive product that will solve some problem I can’t quite name, I feel it. You know that feeling? The one that says if you can just cross off the one more thing on your list, you’ll be enough?
That’s Abram’s story. It’s my story. It’s probably also your story. Thankfully, it’s not the end of the story.
What makes Abram’s story so fascinating is the Lord’s response to his lack (his inability to have kids). When he tells the Lord, the Lord’s response is fascinating. He doesn’t start listing all the things Abram did wrong. He doesn’t treat Abram as less for struggling with his frustrations at what had to be a very trying circumstance. Instead, the Lord tells him to look up at the stars and try to count them.
Imagine trying to do something like that next time you feel overwhelmed?
Often in the press of the everyday struggle to meet a variety of expectations, I find myself coming to the end of myself, like a ship in a storm. In those moments, I like to have that story playing in the background of my thoughts because it tells me about my real-life superhero.
First, it shows me a better way to combat those spaces of insufficiency. In fact, the story presents me with the possibility that like Abram, my lack might be the very thing pointing me back to God.
Second, I learn that the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He doesn’t judge Abram for struggling with his situation (and who doesn’t need someone like that in a world like this?). In fact, this story and many others show me that the Lord is the very person I can trust with my deepest insufficiency.
Third, I find that in the moments when I feel so inadequate to the task at hand, I learn that I can look up and trust the Lord to help fill me in the ways I lack. In fact, the story tells me that this God of Abram (later to become Abraham) has such a grace and an extravagance that even if all I see in the desert of my insufficiency, He’s more than enough.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I ever really grasp how “More than Enough” this God of Abram is. It’s something I have to remind myself daily when the dishes pile up or the kids get sick or I see a glaring character flaw in my kids that “might’ be a reflection of something I forgot to change in myself.
That being said, if you happen to ever see a crazed mother running around like a chicken with no head, tell her it’s okay to stop and count the stars. It’s okay to not be enough for it all.
Cause the Lord is more than enough and He names the stars.