Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Look to the Mountains


I will lift my eyes to the Maker 
Of the mountains I can't climb  
I will lift my eyes to the calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer 
Of the hurt I hold inside  
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You
-Bebo Norman

Yesterday was gray and cold here in the northern Idaho, matching my spirits. I stood at the sink in our kitchen, making dinner and contemplating (code word for "worrying") about a couple of ongoing trials in our family.

I'm a fixer-upper by nature. When a problem is presented to me, my first reaction is to start problem-solving. A friend once told me we are a "git 'er done" kind of family. It's very frustrating to me when someone I love hits a wall, and no answer presents itself.

My kitchen window looks upriver toward the east. As I loaded dishes in the dishwasher and "contemplated" the situation, the sun--which had hid its face most of the day--appeared briefly to light up the brown hills that loomed on the horizon. They glowed in stark relief against the waning day as a Scripture popped into my head:

I will lift my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
 Psalm 121:1-3

What does it mean to "lift my eyes to the mountains"? How do we "lift our eyes" when trouble hits?

For the Psalmist, looking to the mountains may have meant looking toward the hills of Jerusalem, where the temple stood. Israelites traditionally turned to Jerusalem to pray. But the Scripture indicates more.

It's our reminder that God is a creator, an infinite problem-solver, a powerful ally. The Scripture challenges us to look up when we're feeling down. It encourages up to set our sights on God when our natural response is to look inward. Mountains remind us of God's ability to call us to new heights of faith, to conquer hardship and gain broader perspectives.

They require a change of direction and reward us with a vast new horizon.

Are you challenged today? Do your trials have you feeling down? Lift up your eyes. God will take care of the rest.

What is your biggest challenge today? What answers do you need? What practical steps can you take to "lift your eyes" to God?

Photos courtesy Erik Thorson. Copyright 2013

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