Our world has suddenly taken a seismic shift. Our daily routines have been upset in what feels like an instant. There are those that are in disbelief, some are anxious, some angry, some feel lonely and others helpless. People are social-distancing, self-isolating and full on quarantining against a silent, invisible enemy named COVID-19 and man, has this virus shaken our man-made foundations to the core. What do we do? Where do we go? How do we respond with all this unsettledness around us? Psalm 121 gives us some answers.
‘I will lift up my eyes to the mountains
From where shall my help come?
Right now we need to look beyond our circumstances, look up and out from ourselves, from the things we have trusted in, put value in and acknowledge that we are in need of help.
My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
As believers in Christ, followers of Jesus, our source of help is the LORD, the Almighty One, the One Who took that which was formless, void and nothing and spoke it into being. With just the breath of His Word, our existence as we know it was created. This is WHO we are petitioning, this is Whose ears our cries and prayers are reaching. The quality and quantity of His strength and power is everlasting and is something to reflect on in these troubling times.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
The Lord Himself has got you, He will support you. You are protected. He is never not available. There is never a time when He is off duty, unavailable or working from home. Your ‘call’ to Him will never get a busy signal or be put on hold. As a parent helps a toddler learn to walk, our Father is there ready to support and steady us should we become ‘off balance’ in our thoughts, feelings or actions. Strong are His Arms and great is His care.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The LORD is sticking with you. The word shade in this verse literally means ‘shadow’ in Hebrew. Not only does this give a sense of permanency (ever tried to outrun your shadow?) but one of comfort and relief. Shade is essentially a shadow, it’s something or in a spiritual sense Someone, that we can take refuge in when we are left weary from the pressures upon us or the fears that plague us. Jesus’ promise to us is ‘Never will I leave you nor forsake you.’ (Heb 13:5)
The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
This psalm is one of the songs believed to have been sung as the Israelite pilgrims traveled yearly upwards to Jerusalem to worship God or as they ascended the temple stairs after completing their journey. What comfort it must have brought the Israelites to recall these truths to mind as they traveled facing possible hazards such as extreme weather conditions or persons intent on harming them.
We can experience this same comfort when we choose to believe that God is present with us in our circumstances, watching over us as we journey through life homeward to Him. Nothing takes Him by surprise not even a pandemic causing virus. He is as present now as He was before COVID-19 and will continue to be in the future. In these uncertain times, we can in confidence lift our eyes to Him and respond in our hearts with, ‘My help comes from the LORD …. Who made heaven and earth’.
By: Elizabeth Joslin