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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Outlook Or The Uplook?

If you've read my Facebook entries or seen the earlier blog this week, you know that our son, David, has been in the hospital since Saturday. He collapsed due to what they now believe was a blood clot in his lung. As of yesterday afternoon, the doctors say there is no trace of it having been there. We praise Him for that and appreciate those of you who have prayed for him.

This past week has put me in the same mindset and emotionally vulnerable place where I found myself fifteen years ago. I wrote the article below some time shortly after that incident. Today, it reminds me again of our Father's faithfulness.

Don't think for a minute that my theological viewpoint is one that suggests things always turn out the way we want them to unfold. They don't. However things turn out in life, though, God is God and God is good.

Here's the article I wrote some years ago now...

“Your son may not live. He may be a paraplegic.” The words stunned me as the emergency room doctor spoke them to us in a somber tone. The year was 1995 and our oldest son, Andrew,twenty at the time,(now 34) had just fallen from scaffolding on a job site where he was working. Suddenly, life made no sense to me at all. My world became instantly dark at the very thought of the long term implications of this accident.

The doctor told us that Andrew would have to be transferred to another hospital which was better equipped to handle such an extensive injury. After following the ambulance across town to the larger hospital with tears streaming down our cheeks, we pulled into the parking space outside the emergency room.

I reached over and took Melanie’s hand. Through teary eyes and with a trembling voice I said, “We don’t know what the rest of this day holds for us. Andrew may not live. He may be crippled for life. Before we go in here, can we agree on one thing? No matter what happens in this hospital, God is God and God is good.”

Melanie nodded as she wiped tears from her own eyes. We got out of the car and walked into the hospital holding hands. A long journey was beginning.

Our son did survive that accident and after three years of therapy, he was restored to complete health. Today he lives a normal life with little residual effects of the accident. We give God the glory for that.

How are we to survive, let alone triumph, when tragedy strikes our lives? What do we do when the outlook is bleak? The answer is, “Try the uplook.” When John wrote the words in Revelation 4, he was exiled on an island – a prisoner in isolation. Humanly, things looked bleak. But the Lord showed John that life can’t be properly understood from a human perspective, but must be seen from His perspective.

As long as God is on His throne, we have every reason to trust Him and know that, despite superficial evidence to the contrary, everything will ultimately work out for our highest good and His highest glory. This is a truth which has sustained saints through the ages.

When he lost his children, Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Job, how could you say such a thing?” He might answer, “Because I can see beyond the cemetery and I know there’s a throne fixed in heaven and Somebody is sitting on it!”

From a prison cell, Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord. I’ll say it again – rejoice!” “Paul,” we might say, “Those are strange words coming from somebody imprisoned for preaching. How do you keep such a perspective?” The Apostle might answer, “You see prison bars, but I can look beyond them and see a throne in heaven and Somebody is sitting on it!”

The list goes on and on throughout Scripture – those who looked beyond the temporal circumstances of life and saw a sovereign God sitting on a throne. Will you choose that perspective?

When the outlook is hopeless, try the uplook. Your Father loves you and is sovereign over every detail of your life. That fact is enough to sustain us in the darkest days of our lives.


  1. Rejoicing with you!! :)

  2. Anonymous10:00 AM

    Steve, having endured some of the darkest trials in life I can concur 1000 percent. God is God and God is good. Bless you, Melanie, and you family...praise God for the miracle of your son. We will keep you lifted up in prayer !

  3. Steve - another brilliant, timely and spot on post! Thanks you're a star!!

    For those, like me, who have or are going through a 'Lord gives and the Lord takes away' kind of situation get a load of these awesome Scriptures:- Habakkuk 3v17 and 18 (v 17 - outlook, v18 uplook!)and Lam 3 v 21-24 (v1-20 outlook, v21-24 an awesome uplook!)......

  4. Steve, Praise God for this blessing!

    I agree things don't always turn out as we expect or wanted. But in my experience when God takes control they turn out much better!

    When it comes to healing though, while you may not agree with me, I believe we have a Biblical promise from God for it, and I have seen it maniftested many times.
    That being said I know that people don't always get healed and we don't know why. I think possibly it's because we have become too religious and afraid of Grace!

    God is always good, and He is also faithful to His promises.