Meditation: Look Up
Intersection infinity sign traffic road with car and green park pond aerial view
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. Psalms 121:1-2
What do you think about when you’re sitting stuck in traffic? I have a selection of topics for thought when bored in slow or stopped traffic, and it probably comes as no surprise that some of them are not printable for sharing, such as my observations on people who refuse to allow merging or who try to drive around to the front of the line. Sometimes, I wonder about the stories of the people in the cars around me. Since I cannot possibly know a stranger’s story, I make them up. This woman, in the car beside my own putting on lipstick, is headed to an important lunch date and wants to look her best. That man, in the car behind her, is her blind date, and she just doesn’t know it yet. I can entertain myself endlessly making up scenarios while I watch people.
Something else I wonder about is whether the persons in the cars around me know how loved they are by God. Do they look to Him for help? Is anyone lost and afraid, feeling hopeless? What wondrous gifts and graces might a person have? Who’s been hurt or wounded by the careless selfishness of someone else? Perhaps someone is an unknown and amazing evangelist for the Gospel? Which one failed miserably and is heading home to admit defeat to a spouse? In Dallas several years ago, I pulled up beside a car at a light just as the man backhanded the woman in the passenger seat. I confess I was so shocked that I was momentarily paralyzed, wondering if I really had seen that. Her head spun my direction, and tears ran down her face as her nose began to bleed. She didn’t make a move to open the door, but her eyes raised up and met mine. Her glance personified despair and hopelessness. As I began to lower my window, the light changed, and the other car sped off. The whole encounter was probably not more than ten-fifteen seconds, but I still remember. I can’t forget. Did either of them know how much God loves them?
The Israelites posted guards high in the hills to watch over their towns and people. These sentinels would sound the alarm if they were under attack or if wild animals were getting too close to the villagers. But the Psalmist doesn’t mention those. Instead, when he looks up the mountains for help, he turns to the Lord. Village guards are all well and good, but our real help comes from God.
We have guards in our lives, as well, such things as education, insurance, peace officers, counselors, investors, government assistance, physicians, and on and on and on. All of these are worthwhile, and we rightly should be grateful to have such guardians for our time. But we make a mistake if we put too much confidence in these. The only lasting, perfect, and good help we have is the Lord.
All around us, people are wounded, hurting, and hopeless – countless, nameless faces whose hairs are numbered by our Father, just as ours are. When we find the broken and defeated, what help do we give? To what guard do we point? Any help is better than none, but no help is as unfailing and as unfailingly good as God’s. Do we tell them and show them they are the beloved of God? If we do not tell them, how will they know?
When life is hard for us, where do we go for help? The sentinel we trust the most is our witness to the world. What is your help? What or who do you trust in your time of need? Your answer determines what help you offer others.
Lift your eyes to the mountains, and then beyond, to the Helper Who never fails, never sleeps, never forsakes, and never gives up.
In Christ – Elizabeth Moreau © 2019