Where Does Your Help Come From?
Today's lectionary text is actually an entire Psalm. Psalm 121 is just too awesome for me to carve up into sections. You need to read it in its entirety:
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
I've read that passage over and over again throughout my life. My mom used to have a framed photo of mountains with the opening verse stenciled at top. I can still see it in my mind's eye.
There was also the time when I was working as a chaplain at a hospital, and was called to comfort a family who had just been given a bad diagnosis for their loved one.
At the last second, I decided to read that Psalm to them. When I did they all exchanged looks, and their eyes filled with tears. It seems one of them had asked just before I came up, "What is that verse that talks about lifting your eyes up to the hills for help?"
I've read verses 5-8 to people who were dying, some who I could look into their eyes and see how the verses affected them, and others who couldn't respond any longer, but probably heard at some level.
This passage offers us a glimpse into the heart of God--a heart that yearns for us to know that God is both with us, and also for us.
Where in your life are you feeling like you need the cavalry to come storming over the hills to rescue? Struggles at work? Relationship issues? Finances? Doubts and fears?
I want you to do something. Read this passage every time you feel that need, that longing for rescue. Read it every day if you have to. And then slowly you may begin to come to know just how near God is to you.
You don't need to look to the hills for help. Help is right beside you.
May you come to believe this with your whole heart and soul, and may it bring you peace.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.