Counting Tent Wires

By:  Staci Stallings

Yesterday a friend and I were talking.  We were specifically talking about the work God has called us to do—both in writing and in standing between the dragon of the world and fellow writers who are struggling.  I happen to be reading one of her books right now while a couple of writer friends read one of mine.  I’m writing another, she is finishing one, and keeping up is getting to be eyebrow-raisingly crazy.


I was telling her how much I have to do and how exciting it all is.  Suddenly she said, “Yeah, it’s too bad it doesn’t pay better.”


 That comment took me by surprise.  At the time I happened to be sitting in my house, enjoying how clean it is.  (I know that sounds weird, but because of round-the-clock kids for the last 13 years, I’ve let the cleaning go.  Recently my final one went to kindergarten, and I am loving being able to clean and it actually staying clean.)


When she said that, I said, “Are you kidding?  I’ve got the best paying job in the world.  I’ve got three healthy kids who are doing well in school and loving where they are in life.  I’ve got a husband who is covered up with work because everyone knows he does such a great job.  Even more, I get to do what I love to do—write!  I get to hang out with awesome people like you.  I can’t imagine wanting or needing anymore than I have right now.  And to top it all off, I have a glimpse of how much God loves me, and I know His love is even more than I can see!  This IS the best paying “job” in the world!”


I think she was stunned.


Just so you’re not, let me explain it this way.


I was listening to a Dr. Lee A. Simpson sermon on Sunday that I had already heard.  This was actually fun because I could listen instead of frantically writing every sentence down so I didn’t miss anything.  Once again he was talking about Abram and how he was in the tent praying to God that God’s plan for his life simply wasn’t going to work.  After all Abram was old, Sarai was old, how could God do this because that was just not even possible with the laws of the earth. 


Sound familiar?  Are you ever grumbling to God that His promises are just impossible in your life?  Have you ever “explained to Him” that the 15th is coming up, and you’ve got all these bills and no money?  Have you ever lamented that your health is keeping you back from reaching for what He has promised?  Or maybe it’s your kids or your past.  Maybe it’s your education level or your marital status.


Whatever “it” is.  It is not stopping God.  YOU are stopping God.  So, STOP IT!


Well, in the sermon, Dr. Simpson said something I thought was interesting.  Abram was sitting in that tent, and he was looking up.  When he looked up, there was something to count—tent wires.  I don’t know why, but that struck me as particularly funny.


How many times have you counted tent wires?  I know I have.  “God, I want this goal or that goal or if I could just have $20 for this thing or that thing.” 


God, however, is not confined to your tent.  God said to Abram as He says to you, “Step outside.”


Stop counting tent wires and STEP OUTSIDE.


And then I loved this line.  Dr. Simpson said that God told Abram to count the stars, and then in a perfect act of God’s understanding being so far past ours, He said, “Okay, now count the stars that you can’t see.”


You see, God can see EVEN those stars that you can’t.  If you were to number the blessings in your life, they would number as the stars—the ones you can see, and the ones you cannot!


On this day before Thanksgiving, I’m having some fun counting the stars I didn’t even bother to see yesterday.  That my home is warm, I have a family that loves me, I get to go to church in peace…


God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever hoped for or thought to dream about.  He has blessed me with countless stars that I can’t even see.  I woke up this morning alive.  I am breathing without thinking about it.  I can move.  I can talk.  I can write to you…


Stop counting the tent wires, step outside, and start counting the stars.  I bet like me you will be completely amazed!



Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


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