Whenever I come across questions in Scripture, I at least pause to notice if an answer is forthcoming. The first verse of Psalm 121 has both a statement and a question that I have been trying to answer over the past few days.
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
When I lift my eyes toward the hills to the east, I really do see hills, the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to be exact. And when I assess the view of both my physical and spiritual landscape, by faith I trust in help’s arrival because God who made the heavens and the earth also made me. In all honesty, with the Lord’s help, I am equipped and empowered to face life’s challenges.
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The Lord keeps me from stumbling because at any given moment the Lord is aware of what I need in order to live freely in God’s kingdom. The Lord is the stabilizing force of my life, my Guardian, my Protector. The Lord steers me away from of becoming entrapped in the evils of blaming others and shaming myself.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
I am trying to be more intentional about paying attention to how God is helping me throughout the day. Then at the end of the day I am setting aside time to notice how the Lord has been present in my comings and goings.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
Reflecting on all the little ways God has helped me, led me to the following conclusions:
• When I have been worried and bewildered, the Lord has brought clarification.
• When I have felt isolated, I have been compelled by the Holy Spirit to seek comfort in the Lord’s sufficient grace and mercy.
• When I have been overwhelmed with regret, I have felt flooded by the Lord’s forgiveness and reassurances that all things are being worked for good.
• When I have yearned for normalcy, I have discovered calm in the rhythm of surrendering my anxiety to the Lord.
• And when I have been grieved to the point of hopelessness, the Holy Spirit has lifted my eyes to beyond what I can ask or imagine.
How has the Lord kept watch over your comings and goings? How are you being invited to ask for God’s help? If you were to reflect on the ways God has helped you in the last hour, yesterday, in the past year, to what conclusions would you come?
If I were the psalmist, I would have concluded Psalm 121 with the last verse of Psalm 124. I am not, but as the writer, I can let verse 8 be my final words.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.