Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (NKJV)
Psalm 121 has been my favorite Psalm for as long as I can remember. The words comfort me reminding me that no matter what craziness is going on in my life or in the world, God is with me. Unfortunately, often so focused on the troubles in the world, in the Church and in my life that I forget to look to God!
Years ago I had a friend who was great fun to hang out with. Whether we were hiking with friends in the woods or walking the halls of Tremper High School or the streets of Kenosha he would invariably see things that neither my friends nor I would notice. Why? One day I walked into our local meeting establishment and Blair said, “Forrest, how do you like the new sign?” I responded, “What sign!?” The huge sign in front of the bar had been transformed, completely changed and I hadn’t even noticed. We laughed as we reflected that when I walked, I was usually looking down; when Blair walked he was always looking up. He noticed and celebrated the sign while I missed it.
Where are you looking? That is a good question for any time of life, but particularly now as we face the health emergency of Covid-19 and the financial crisis that is following. It is human nature to become focused on questions of survival and become consumed with fear. My encouragement to you is to remember that in the midst of it all, God is with us. “God who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Faith requires me to re-focus my gaze. “I will lift up mine eyes…” In the midst of chaos that surrounds me, I will discipline myself to meditate on scripture, listen to uplifting music, share with Christian friends, and continue with weekly worship and daily devotion. I choose to lift up my eyes, that I may be reminded of the goodness, the grace, the glory of God. I do not deny the mounting challenges of this Coronavirus era and the human suffering it is creating. I am consumed with the challenges that confront us. But I do so as a person of faith. I choose to lift up my eyes and trust that God is with me, is with all of us during this chaotic time. Where are you looking? Be strengthened for the work of the day and find peace as you lift up your eyes.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in,
From this time forth, and even forevermore.