Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All I See Before Me....

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills- from whence comes my help?” Psalm 121:1. That is the question that I woke to this morning, this is the scripture that the Lord laid on my heart today. Have you ever been hiking? Have you ever gone to the mountains, stood at the bottom of a mountain and looked up?  At first the task seems exciting, but then the fog lifts from the face of the mountain and you see the broken trails, the ledges of small cliffs jutting out, you see the near-death rock climbs that you will have to pull yourself up to reach the top. That is where I am standing today, at the bottom of a mountain the Lord has told me I must climb.
I have been re-reading a beloved book of the Christian walk, “Hinds Feet in High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. It is a wonderful allegory on the Christian life, and I encourage all of you to re-read it or go and get it and read it for the first time. You will not regret one minute spent reading this wonderful book. In the book, “Much-Afraid” (main character) comes to the bottom of this great mountain. She looks up at it and the task seems so daunting that she breaks down and cries out. Her fear and her doubts overwhelm her and she bursts out in tears. I have just recently found myself at the same place.
There is this huge and overwhelming mountain in my way, in the midst of my walk with the Lord, there is this dark and uncharted mountain waiting for me to walk it. I don’t want to, I am scared. What if I fail, what if I stumble and fall? As I lift up my eyes to the hill before me, I too cry out, “From whence comes my help?” I get a feeling that the Psalmist also felt the same way. We look at the mountains of trials, the struggles, the broken relationships, the mountains of our faith walk and cry out- “Help! I’m looking at this big mountain and there is no way that I can do this alone! I need help!”
I had a moment of fear and doubt, as I looked upon the mountain looming ahead. Because I did something that I should not have done. I took my eyes off of Him. When we are faced with these huge mountains, and we will be, when we are faced with this insurmountable task He has prepared for us, He tells us to do one thing- “lift up our eyes” for “He will not allow our foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper (protector) The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:3-8.
If I know, if I believe that the Lord has me walking this path and it is the only path that I can take to get around this mountain, then my eyes should be steadily fixed upon Him. He is my guide, my safety rope, my food and water. He is the one that I need to cling to as we climb this mountain together. When I take my eyes off of Him and I look down from the side of the cliff we are on, my heart grow weary and begins to faint. I start to fear and doubt and tremble with anxiety. But He will then hold me a little closer and carry me over these places. I too am like “Much-Afraid”. I too sat on the ground before the mountain and cried out with great fear.
But my God, my Lord, my Redeemer came to my rescue and said, “I will lead you, just don’t take your eyes off of Me.” The Lord took my hand this morning and said to me, “Don’t look down. Keep your eyes on me. I am where your help comes from. I will not let you stumble; I will not let you fall. I will protect you, I will bring you through. Just keep your eyes on me.” (Psalm 121)
Don’t look down ladies, don’t look back. Keep your eyes on the Lord at all costs. When the urge to look away through worry and doubt come rushing in, remember where your help is- remember where the Lord your God said He would be. These mountains we have to face will bring us closer to Him, closer to the final destination of our walks, that is to live and be with Him forevermore. Our hope and our help is in the Lord. He promises that He will bring us over these mountains and when we reach the other side, and when we reach the top of the mountain we will be able to lift up our eyes to the heavens and say, “My Help is From the Lord, Glory and Honor and Praise be to Him for He has brought me through to Victory!”  There is a beginning to our mountains, but there is also an end.
If there is a mountain that the Lord has asked you to climb with Him, take His hand today, do not delay- and remember- Keep your eyes on the Lord, and don’t look down! Amen!