I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
It’s amazing how quickly you can feel surrounded by unfamiliar territory. One semester you have everything and everyone mapped out; the next you’re thrown into a new class or school and face challenges in acceptance and academics. Or, you and your friends set out for a fun time only to find the party is pushing your limits on what’s fun and what’s forbidden.
Consider the prayer that begins Psalm 121. This is a traveler caught in the valley, shrouded in the darkness by the staggered horizon of hills that appear to close in around him. Perhaps just a few steps from the security of the city gates, he is now entering thieves’ territory. Whether it’s perceived or real, the darkness of the situation can be crippling. You can almost hear the tremble in his voice as he asks where help is going to come from. And it’s easy to think of times when that same tremble stirred your body at the foot of an uncharted or unnerving uncertainty. What was your cry? To whom were you crying out?
But what happens when the eyes of the traveler are lifted? Surely, he sees the hills ahead, but he also catches the reassurance from heaven that the Lord is stepping down into the valley. The traveler’s own question is answered with the confidence that the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, will help. Nothing is outside the control of the One who made everything. There is no thing and no entity more powerful than The Creator.
That is the comfort that guides your steps when you arrive at a situation, whether you can see it coming or not. The next time you are in a situation where you need to say or do something that you are afraid of, remember the traveler. Then remember: The same God that gave courage to the traveler is there to help you too. Jesus loves you and understands every fear and anxiety you have. He was given human form and placed on earth so he could experience the same emotions you feel today. Ask Him to help you. If you throw all of your fears and anxieties to Him, you’ll be nimble enough to follow His voice to the summit of the hills that once made you feel so low.