Cracks in the Sidewalk
There wasn’t room for both families. Abram had prospered by the time he returned to Canaan from his ill-advised journey to Egypt. So had his nephew, Lot. Tensions between the servants of the two households reached dangerous heights. Genesis 13 describes the agreement made between Abram and Lot. The patriarch’s nephew chose to occupy the lush plains of the Jordan near Sodom and Abram moved to the area around Hebron.
By covenant, all this land would someday belong to Abram’s descendants (Genesis 12:7). Resting on that promise, he could easily allow Lot to make his own choice as to where he wanted to settle.
It was at this time that the Lord renewed his covenant with Abram. Genesis 13:14-17 tells us, “The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever...Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.’”
When I was a kid we would sometimes play a game on the way to school. We’d keep our eyes on the ground and make sure that we didn’t step on any of the cracks in the sidewalk. There was a saying back then: “Step on a crack; break your mother’s back.” The trouble with keeping your eyes on the sidewalk is that you miss much better and more interesting things that could be yours to enjoy.
God’s invitation to Abram to “lift up” his eyes and to look, not at where he was, but at where he would be going, is a great reminder to us. So often we suffer from tunnel vision, or too narrow a focus, and we miss what else God might have for us.
Let me give you a personal example. The ministry I am involved in has becoming increasingly narrow, limited but events and circumstances. This has caused me some frustration and discouragement. But last week I got an email from someone on the other side of the country who I hadn’t heard from in years. She had stumbled across the online advertisement for one of my Bible study series. She asked me to send her the studies so that she could do them with a group of students she works with. That incident reminded me of other times that this kind of thing had happened. My Spanish devotional, for example, is in countries all over Latin and North America and in parts of Europe. The readings have been broadcast on radio to reach even more people. The children’s program I wrote in Spanish for 40 Days of Purpose has also been used in many parts of Latin America.
I could look at the cracks, and am tempted to do so, but this morning’s reading reminded me that I too, like Abram, need to “lift up” my eyes and see all that the Lord has, all that God promises, and all that God is able to do.
Perhaps you need to “lift up” your eyes from the cracks in your life, and see the possibilities that lie before you as you trust and follow Him. As Ephesians 3:20, 21 tells us, He is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within in, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."