I have been reading and re-reading one of the Psalms in the Bible for a while. Let me share this with you. Psalm 121 says this:
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever. (NLT)
This Psalm has been a comfort for me through many tough times.
Problems sometime seems to be as big as mountain, and challenges come around every corner. That is the time where I recognize the weariness in the first verse. “I lift my eyes to the mountains”, because let’s be honest: it is easy to let the focus be on the problems, on the difficulties. With a heavy sigh and tears in my eyes I repeat the question of the psalmist: “where does my help come from?”.
The comfort is found in the resounding answer. “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”, and let us whispering add that He is the one who made the mountains. Which by logic means that He is greater than the greatest mountain. The Creator is bigger than the creation. God is mightier than the Himalayas. Greater than the biggest problems.
I have always been a fan of nature
Like in every great artistic masterpiece I see the signature of the artist. I look out at the ocean, the seemingly endless, mighty ocean, and I am reminded that the love of God is even greater. The ocean might seem endless, but the love of God really has no end at all. The waves of the ocean can be powerful, but God is more powerful still.
And then I lift my eyes to the mountains… Coming from Norway I have seen my fair share of mountains. They are steady, standing like giants in the landscape, and though times may change, the mountains never does. The Word of God is likened to the rock, to the mountains. Having my soul anchored in the Word of God is like having my feet planted on solid rock. I am firmly planted on the promises of God, which will never fail. And even if the mountains do fall, God’s Word never does.
I lift my eyes to the mountains, to the sky, to the heavenly
More than this, the mountains forces me to lift my eyes.
Up, up, to the highest point. But it is impossible to look at the highest point of a mountain without also seeing the sky beyond. My eyes are lifted not just to the mountains, but to the heavens.
One of the reasons churches were built with high spires, was to point the onlookers to the heavens. Like mountains, the church spire forces to look up, up, beyond our own little lives, and to lift our eyes to the one who is higher and mightier than whatever we meet. I believe God created the mountains with some of the same intent.
So I lift my eyes to the mountains, but I know that my help, my strength, does not come from the mountains. My help comes from the one who made the mountains, who made earth and heaven. I lift my eyes to the sky, to the heavenly.
Psalm 121 says that the Lord is our guardian.
The Hebrew word for “guard” or “to guard” is actually used 6 times in this quite short Psalm. God is guarding us on all sides, surrounding us and taking care of us on all sides.
Have you ever felt like you were on shaky ground?
Like you might take a tumble any moment? I often feel quite shaky, specially in new and unknown situations. But God’s promise is that He will not let us stumble. Psalm 18:34 says that He will make our feet like the hinds feet and set us on high places.
A hind or deers feet, though seemingly thin and frail are quite secure. Have you ever seen a deer leap up mountain sides? They never stumble, always placing their feet on solid ground, even though the ground is extremely rocky. How amazing that God promises to make our feet as secure as that, never stumbling, always safe.
The Psalm continues to say that the Lord will provide shade for us.
Think for a moment how close you have to be to someone, to actually stand in their shade. God wants to keep us so close to His heart that we are covered by His shade. Other Bible verses says that there are refuge in the shadow of His wings, that we are hidden in the shadow of His hand. Psalm 91 encourages us to dwell, to live in the shadow of the Almighty. Living close to His hands, close to His face, close to His heart.
Coming from a northern country, I admit that I don’t quite understand about being protected from the sun. I would prefer to be given sunshine and being protected from the rain. Other places in the world one longs for rain and protection from the scorching sunshine.
But no matter what you are used to, I think the promise is protection from the elements, protection against whatever may harm us. God wants to cover you like a shade against the sun at daytime, and as a blanket, a cover that gives warmth at night. Whatever may come to harm you, day or night, He is close to you, covering you with His love and with His care.
The last verses says that the Lord guards you against all evil, that He guards your life. There are times I wish He would guard my comfort, but we are not promised a life in comfort. I have to be content with the promise that He guards my life, my coming and my going. All through life God loves and take care of us, even when we can’t see Him. He guards me going in and out of my comfort-zone, going in and out of my house, in and out of people’s lives. He guards my life.