«And the Lord said to Abram, after lot had separated from him: Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward southward, eastward, and westward’ » (Genesis 1 3: 1 4).
Chapter 13 of Genesis narrates the problems between Abraham and Lot. Due to the abundance livestock of both families, they have to part ways and settle in different lands. Let us notice Abraham’s generosity when he allows Lot to choose the land he prefers. Finally, we see the patriarch, separated from his nephew, doubting his new settlement, and perhaps worried about the fact that Lot chose a place close enough to Sodom whose inhabitants «were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord» (v. 13). In those moments of difficult transition, God came to his aid by saying, «Lift your eyes now.”
One spring afternoon, I (J) was sitting at my desk focusing on books, papers and notes and lost in meditation. The train of my thoughts got interrupted by the ring of my phone:
«Look out the window'». —said my colleague from the adjoining office.
I looked up and saw the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen: enormous, double, sharp with vivid colors. Of course, I could not remember what I was studying at that moment, but I do remember the rainbow because someone told me those words: «Lift up your eyes!»
The Lord invited Abraham to lift up his eyes. From this short story we can learn at least three lessons: The first one is that when we are discouraged with our eyes focused on our worries, God invites us to lift up our eyes and contemplate on a more hopeful and inclusive perspective. The second one is that in the same way God showed Abraham the great inheritance He prepared for him and his descendants (vv. 15-16), He also reminds us that even in desperate moments we are heirs of eternal life. And the third one is that just as God offers Abraham precise instructions to move his tent and settle down in Hebron (v. 17), God will also enlighten us through His written word so we are headed to the best destination. Upon reaching it, we joyfully thank Him, as Abraham did, by building an altar to the Lord (v. 18).
Two chapters further on, we find again the patriarch in the middle of an emotional conflict, deeply asleep and frightened (Gen. 1 5:12). It seems he had forgotten the promises, but the Lord comforts him again, redirecting his attention toward a blessed future (vv. 13-21).
Even if your discouragement comes back again and again, the same God of Abraham is ready to help you, comfort you and remind you of the beautiful promises of eternal life.