Have you ever watched Charlotte’s Web?
On Wilbur’s worst day, Charlotte sings,
“Chin up, chin up
Every little time your spirits wilt
Chin up, chin up
Give your attitude an upward tilt
Make a little fun begin
You’ll be on the right side
Looking at the bright side
Up with your chinny chin
Charlotte isn’t the only one telling us to lift our heads; scientific studies show that simply looking up improves our mood and raises healthy hormone levels. Gazing at the sky reduces anxiety and stress.
But science and culture only repeat the age old truth found in scripture, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Mathew 6:22
The concept of ‘looking up’ isn’t merely another mood enhancer or coping mechanism, but a simple physical reminder of a deeper spiritual need. The eyes of our hearts need to seek the help found in Christ alone.
Look Up, What Do You See?
If your answer is the ceiling, why don’t you step outside a moment. Okay, joking aside, (and now that you’re outside) look up. What do you see?
Most likely you will see blue and green, the most calming colors of the color wheel. You may see the stars, sky, trees, branches, birds, clouds, the sun, and moon. Take a deep breath and praise God for what you see. It is a gift for you Rose!
When we focus on what we are facing and are too busy analyzing how we feel, how to fix it, and what the outcome may be, our anxiety quickly spirals out of control. We simply need to pause and surrender the situation to Christ.
Next time you feel overwhelmed with emotions or stress, pause and look up. You may be surprised at how much it can help!
Why Look Up?
Our bodies are affected by where we look.
Looking down can destroy healthy posture. A downward gaze reveals feelings of shame and defeat. Looking up is a symbol of health and victory. Our posture improves and our serotonin levels rise.
Looking up changes our perspective.
“To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!” Psalm 123:1
It reminds us Who created us.
“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26
It is an act of looking to our Savior for help.
Cry out to Him with the psalmist, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Examples From Scripture
The Bible has many examples of people looking up and seeking help from God.
King Nebuchadnezzar lifted his eyes in repentance after his rebellion (Daniel 4:34)
Stephen lifted his eyes as he was martyred, “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”
The psalmist lifted his eyes to the hills in Psalm 121.
Jesus lifted His eyes to pray and to praise God (John 11:41). He also lifted His eyes when He performed miracles and healed (Mathew 14:19, Mark 7:34). In the garden, before His crucifixion, Jesus “Lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.” John 17:1b
We Can Look to the Wrong Places
Anything can become an idol in our lives. If we look to things, activities, or relationships instead of to Christ as our source of happiness and fulfillment, our lives begin to decline.
“…Thus says the Lord God: [if you] lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land?” Ezekiel 33:25
Rose, are you anxious for your future, worried about the past, or overwhelmed by your current problems? Where are you looking for peace? Our focus can easily become sidetracked on methods for mental wellbeing and mindfulness. While these things can be very helpful, apart from Christ they are worthless. If our security is in anything other than Jesus, our spiritual health declines directly affecting our mental and physical health. A guilty conscience keeps us from sleep and causes our minds to be anxious and miserable. It can really mess with our stress hormones too!
“Beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:19
We have to be careful where we place our trust and thoroughly assess the focus of our hearts. Let ‘looking up’ be a reminder for you to look to Jesus as your strength.
We Are Given A Purpose
We are not meant to spend our lives anxiously focused on the cares of this world. Jesus has a different plan for you, Rose. You are called to higher things. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philipians 3:14
We are given an alternative to anxiety: seeking Jesus.
When worry presses around you, look up and remember that your goal is to know Jesus.
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Before Jesus ascended to heaven He gave His followers a mission.
When we look outside of ourselves we can participate in God’s mission of reaching the lost. Jesus says, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” John 4:35
Look around you Rose! Who needs the gospel?
The most important and precious thing of all is looking into God’s word.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:18
The words of God will help you in your quest to look to Him. Look into the scripture Rose. It is a gift of communion with your Savior. God is waiting to speak to you through it.
We Are Given Hope
If you are born again you will see the kingdom of heaven! The evidence is found in John 3:3, “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
As Christ’s daughters, we are promised that God has wonderful plans for us, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—” 1 Corinthians 2:9
We look forward to everlasting salvation.
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my righteousness will never be dismayed.” Isaiah 51:6
We have hope Rose, we needn’t be anxious.
Next time you face a hard day Rose, pause, look up to God, and remember that He is forever faithful. Breathe and refocus on Jesus. Declare that He is your Help. Maybe your heart will be able to sing, “Chin up!”
A daughter of the King, Gabriella loves to share the teaching that the Lord has given her through the joys and trials of her life. The desire of her heart is to grow her love, knowledge, and maturity for Christ and the truth found in His Word.