"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 (ESV)
Dusk is coming, but instead of letting it slide through the windows of my apartment, I am drawn to seek more of the sun. I’m tired physically, mentally and emotionally — but I don my down jacket and scarf, slip out the door and put my feet to pavement.
It’s an unusually warm day for this time of year in Wisconsin, so I take advantage of the fleeting good weather and head to a tiny park that consists of one small but steep hill.
It’s been a long season full of unanswered questions, loads of waiting and a plethora of uncertainties. There have been times I’ve prayed and pleaded with God only to get no answer, and I’ve felt alone and unheard.
But this week, Psalm 121 has been ringing in my mind. I’ve been drawn to it, read it many times, and remembered God as Helper and Keeper.
My boots transition from the pavement to patches of grass and snow as I enter the park. All the while, I repeat portions of the psalm to myself, breath crisp and clear:
“I lift 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).
The sun’s lowering behind clouds, but there’s enough color left to know there’s a sunset coming. I begin my climb up the hill, which is already slick with packed-down snow and a layer of ice. After slipping in my boots, which are designed more for comfort than functionality, I cling to the snowy fence posts and haul myself slowly to the top, where I watch the sky churn raspberry, blazing orange and soft red as the sun breaks through the clouds.
Rays of orange light spike through the charcoal and purple clouds into the still-bright blue sky. Worship music in my earbuds, I stand with hands outstretched, knowing I’m meeting with the God to whom my eyes have lifted. I watch and worship the God who’s spinning colors effortlessly.
My situation doesn’t change or immediately clear up, but as I stand and worship, simply being in His presence helps remind me that He is over all things, that He is the maker of heaven and earth.
“The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7-8, ESV)
We may be weary from things that don’t seem to change — health struggles, strained relationships, job challenges, loneliness from a need for community — but we can lift our eyes to the Lord, who will not allow us to stumble. He who provides beauty in a sorbet sunset atop a small hill surely sees us, His children. He invites us to rest in His unchanging grace, soak in His strength, and be still and know He is with us.
When we pause and take in the magnitude of His glory, we get to remember how faithful He has been to us in the past and trust He is taking care of us today.
When we lift our eyes to the hills and set our hopes higher than our eyesight, the Lord comes into view.
He is above our challenges and pain, yet He personally resides within us, drawing us close, whispering to our hurting hearts. Let’s lift our eyes to the hills of hope and look to where our help comes from: God, who makes a way and holds us steady.
Father, I am surrounded by circumstances that overwhelm me. I am sinking in my pain and concern, but You see all that’s happening. I lift my eyes up to You and remember that You are my Helper and Keeper. Thank You that You are faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (ESV)
How can you take comfort in knowing God is with you and promises to help you?
Make time to watch a sunset and be in His presence, being thankful that the God of the heavens is the God of your heart.
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