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What are you doing under there?

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

Rev. Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, former pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, U.S. Senate Chaplain, and author, had a delightful way of stressing a point on his TV series, "Let God Love You." He once related a time when speaking with someone by asking, "How are you doing?" The man's response was, "Pretty good, under the circumstances." In his usual gentle way, Ogilvie tilted his head and asked with a smile, "What are you doing under there?"

I've never forgotten that whimsical retort. It impressed me to never utter, "under the circumstances" for myself! As believers, we always have the means to extricate ourselves from self-made messes by looking above to the One who knows all about us, loves us and keeps His eye on us at all times.

It's from the Holy Bible where we find, "He who comes from above is above all; He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:31) There, certainly, is the reason we look above! And again, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world." (John 8:23)

How are we then helped? "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) Where is your Jerusalem?

The things we fear on earth are removed. "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:1, 2)

We call out to God as did the psalmist, "Stretch out Your hand from above; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks vain words, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood." (Psalm 144:7, 8)

Spiritual gifts are poured upon the body of Christ, the church, and we can trust God's word, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

Finally, we get out from under our circumstances when we believe the Promise is for us, reach above, and agree with Peter, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:38, 39)

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© Constance Vanides