“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Above the Circumstances

(Please read Luke 19:1-10)

September 7

Suppose Zacchaeus had not climbed the tree that day in Jericho. Suppose that when he got home and his wife asked whether he got to see Jesus, he had answered, “Well, no, so many taller people got in front of me. I wish I was tall.”

But Zacchaeus was a more determined man than that. He did climb that tree; he rose above his circumstances and experienced success. “Circumstances” is an interesting word. The first part has to do with roundness, and the last parts with standing. So even though we say, “under the circumstances,” we really mean something like “in view of the surrounding situation.”

We have other examples of men rising above their circumstances and some, alas, who couldn’t bring themselves to try such a thing. Look at the one-talent man in Matthew 25 who was entrusted by his master with a talent of money but was afraid to risk even a cautious investment, so he buried it. Instead of rising above his circumstances, he made them much worse.

Most of the world’s great inventions have come as a result of somebody’s effort to rise above situations and make life better. And Christianity presents continual challenges to do the same. We’re constantly being faced with the options of doing for the Lord or reclining on beds of indolence with excuses as our cover.

Today, this very day, let’s keep Zacchaeus in mind and climb a few trees of our own to break free from whatever unpleasant situation makes us want to cower “under” our circumstances and let others work for the Lord. Surely He will bless our efforts.

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