Friday, November 8, 2013

Help for Hills

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.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

I love these verses from Psalm 121.  They've been some of my favorites ever since I discovered them on a mission trip years ago.  Some translations say "mountains" instead of "hills", and I have always loved mountains.  Seeing mountains reminds me of God's power and my insignificance.  Mountains have always meant peace and comfort and that God is bigger--so much bigger--than any trials that could come my way.

I saw these verses as a reminder that God's there to help.  In kind of a vague, here's-a-resource-for-you kind of way.  And if I ever needed that reminder, I could look at some mountains.  Conveniently, I have a picture of mountains in my living room.
Mountain Lake 2560×1707 Wallpaper
But today?  Today I read with new eyes.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

I have a couple of friends who are going through difficult seasons in their lives.  No, not just difficult.  I don't even have the words to describe their struggles.  These women are facing hills.  Steep hills.  Mountains.  Obstacles so vast that it is impossible to see over or around or through them.  They are staring up at these hills and wondering how they will ever climb up and over and through to the other side.  They are wondering if they will survive.

My friends are facing impossible situations.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.  Where does my help come from?

You know how, when a trial first comes upon you, you put your head down and start powering through?  Oh, you might sit around for a while moaning about it, but you're fresh.  You can do this.  You can do anything for a short time.  And you get right to it.  Maybe even cheerfully, because the situation gives you a sense of purpose--something on which to focus.

But then it starts to get old.  You get worn out, weary.  The end of this struggle, which you thought was in sight, turns out to be just a mirage.  The freshness, the faith with which you entered this season, has been replaced by fatigue and doubt, as trouble drags on and on.  My friends need help.  Real help.  Now.

Where does my help come from?

And that's just it. 

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

God.  God is just waiting to carry us through.  When we're at the very end of ourselves, when we cannot take even one more step, God will pick us up and somehow, some holy and mysterious way, give us strength for the next day, or the next hour, or sometimes, even just the very next minute.

Our help comes from the LORD, the Maker of hills and mountains, of ocean and sky.  The Maker  If anyone knows how to get us over and around and through the obstacles in our paths, it's the Maker of heaven and earth.

Don't you just love it when you suddenly understand an old favorite Bible verse in a new way?

I look ahead of me and I see impossible obstacles in my path. 
How will I ever get through to the other side? 
Will I get through to the other side? 
 I can't do this on my own. 
Who will help me?  Who can help me? 
The LORD God, who made everything, will help me. 
God knows just how to conquer this obstacle. 
God will provide stable footholds for me and will not let me fall. 
 God will watch over me diligently as I am walking this path,
not looking away, not getting distracted, not even resting,
as the LORD protects me and guides me on this journey. 
And this isn't just a short term thing--nope--God will see me through this hardship,
 and over each and every obstacle that comes my way,
for my whole life.
Psalm 121 (my paraphrase)

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