Within one week’s time, I was bombarded with messages to “look up.” A friend emailed about it. Someone else talked about it in conversation. A guest speaker mentioned it. Then we sang about it a church. And if all that was not enough, I heard Psalm 121 quoted no fewer than three times in one day. You know the one: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
I may be a little hard of hearing sometimes, but I’m not deaf! After the first few times, God had my attention. It was clear that He wanted me to get my eyes off what I usually look at and look up instead. At Jesus.
It’s really easy for me to get caught up in bad news, roadblocks, negative reports, setbacks, and disappointments. Have you ever noticed how statistics and trends rarely point to anything good? But when I spend too much time concentrating on the negatives all around me, my hope plummets and my prayers falter.
So God wants me to look up.
One way I am trying to do that was by spending some time looking at the scenes of heaven and Jesus that John paints in Revelation. I narrowed it down to six:
I’ve been taking one a day and reading it through slowly, with time in between each reading for reflection. As I lift my gaze, I see amazing things. Holiness. Power. Majesty. Glory. Beauty. I see multitudes of worshipers. A lion that looks like a bleeding lamb. Redeemed people from every tribe and language and nation. No more tears, pain, or sorrow—all have been replaced with peace and joy.
As I pray with eyes lifted up like this, my perspective changes, kind of like the old song promises it will: “The things of earth grow strangely dim.”
With my eyes fixed upward on the breathtaking scenes of heaven, I also see how important intercession is. God keeps my prayers in golden bowls, just waiting for the right time to answer them. My faith rises as I see Him in heaven, poised to step in and make all things new. Looking up helps me to see that there’s nothing Jesus can’t save, and nothing God is unwilling to redeem. And that gives me faith to pray—with eyes open, looking up!