Look up

Psalm 121

I watched a few episodes of a TV series called “Days That Shaped America.” It’s about certain events that brought our county to a halt.

Do you remember watching the spider-shaped cloud when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded? How many of us watched live as a compound in Waco went up in flames? Then there’s what was left of a ten-story building in Oklahoma City. And, of course, the entire world witnessed 9/11.

This wasn’t true for every episode. It’s certainly not true for all national or world events that terrorize our memories. But at least in those examples I noticed we had to look up. When debris falls from the sky, that’s not really an option. Intrigue, fear and survival rely on looking where the danger is. And there’s no ignoring an almost-two-hundred-thousand-pound spaceship that vanishes from the sky.

So, we’re used to looking up. There’s beauty on the ground level all around us. But there are also moments we have to look up as horror fills the skies. And whether we notice it in those moments or not, we’re looking up to heaven at the same time. Heaven not being some far-off place with clouds as steps. But to the reality we know as God’s people; the reality of God’s presence throughout the cosmos.

The gospel accounts don’t say this, but I see Jesus lifting his head as he cried out from the cross. The psalmist, too, knew to look up. Upon reflecting on God’s protection and assurance, he was able to affirm what he knew about God. Most versions we read pose his statement as a question. As he’s looking up to the hills, he’s asking, “From where will my help come?” Is it a desperate moment of uncertainty before he realizes he already knows the answer?

Or is it actually a declaration?

There is a sense the psalmist is not asking anything. He’s telling you. He will look up because that’s where his help comes from!

The pain of life may bring you no choice but to look up. Other times, joy may cause you to raise your head to see past the skies into eternity as you give praise to God. Either way, I pray in your looking-up moments you find that God is faithful to answer.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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