I look up to the mountains. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth.
He won’t let your foot slip. He who watches over you won’t get tired.
In fact, he who watches over Israel won’t get tired or go to sleep.
The Lord watches over you. The Lord is like a shade tree at your right hand.
The sun won’t harm you during the day. The moon won’t harm you during the night.
The Lord will keep you from every kind of harm. He will watch over your life.
The Lord will watch over your life no matter where you go, both now and forever
This beautiful Psalm is one of the Hebrew Songs of Ascent. I understand that it was sung by pilgrims as they made their way up toward the heights of Jerusalem for holy worship. These travelers might become weary on the long trek, and they encouraged one another by singing these Psalms that they had committed to memory.
The King James translation renders that first line “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills…” That catches my attention, not only because of its poetic beauty, but because of the literal value of the idea- I will lift up my eyes. There is a specific value in deciding to look up. It talks about a decision to look up when we are weary, not to hang our heads.
Have you ever seen athletes on the basketball court or on football sidelines put their hands on their hips? It is a sure sign of fatigue. Many coaches caution their players, even when fatigued, to not give in to a gesture that might give others the idea that they are exhausted.
Deciding to look up when the journey gets hard is a good concept. After all, the Psalmist reminded the pilgrims that their help comes from the Lord- the one who made the mountain that they were trudging up. God would give them strength if they looked up to him.
So, fellow travelers, when the journey gets hard, lift up your eyes to the Creator who gives strength.
Prayer: We are weary Lord, but our strength is renewed in you alone, Amen