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Count the Stars If You Can
By Rev. Richard Jenks

Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" (Genesis 15:5 NLT)

    Out of the stillness of the midnight sky comes the jubilant voice of
God saying, ? I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward!
But Abram can not rise to the joy God is expressing to His servant.
To Abram, nothing matters anymore. Wealth, power-even victory over
his enemies fails to lift his depression.
    Abram is suffering from years of unrequited desire. His whole being
longs for an heir. He wants to see his own flesh and blood running
and playing; he wants to hear the joy and excitement of discovery
in the voice of a son of his own. There is an empty place inside of Abram
that even his walk with God cannot fill. It is an area yet to be purged
by the fire of God's holiness that demands our total love and devotion.
But God is patient with His children, and will wait until one day on a
mountain where there will be an altar of sacrifice where the more mature
Abraham will be tested by that very fire so that God may know his heart.
    But now out of a broken heart, Abram expresses the depths of his feelings. ? O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don't even have a son? The cry of the broken heart and contrite spirit will always reach the ears of the Father.
    However, He will not always give us what we want when we want it. He will purify our desires until we desire His desires. God has a plan, but His timing is ? not yet. But this is the time to replace the emptiness of a broken man with the dream that will cause Abram to reach up in faith and believe that God will build a Kingdom to bless the whole world.
    Somehow I think I can hear God's voice as He calls Abram to come outside with Him, and says with over-whelming joy, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" Count the stars! Look to Heaven for the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams. The dream is a long way off; many years will pass as God prepares His servant to be the Father of many nations. There will be many seasons of doubt and testing, but God has given Abram a reference point for the promise. Look at the stars! Count them, if you can! On the nights when the enemy whispers his lies and doubts, count the stars.
    His descendent Hannah will read this and understand just where the Patriarch was and what he was feeling. She will understand the man who finds life not worth living, and she will begin to count the stars of her own promise. She also will have to offer her all on the altar of sacrifice that her Lord will also be Supreme.
    Cry your emptiness out to the Lord. He who knows the depths of your longing will hear you also. Allow His purifying fire to burn out the selfish desires, the wrong motives, until He can trust you with the vision of joy that He is already preparing you for. Remember, HIS DESIRE FOR YOU IS FULLNESS OF JOY.

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