The Christian life is quite a journey. It is not some hideaway in a beautiful garden where we have uninterrupted bliss with our savior. Instead, as we follow Jesus, we are subject to the same distractions, dangers, sicknesses, and pressures as the rest of our culture.
After all, we breathe the same air, shop in the same businesses, pay the same taxes, and read the same newspapers as everyone else. The difference for the follower of Christ is one of perspective.
On whom do we count? Where do we look and in whom do we trust?
“I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” (CEB)
The psalmist reminds us that the Lord is our protector: God doesn’t sleep; our Protector is always with us no matter what we face throughout our journey. Yes, pain and trials and sickness come, but as look up to God, we recognize the One who preserves, accompanies, and rules us.
Eugene Peterson, in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, says it well:
“All the water in all the oceans cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside. Nor can all the trouble in world harm us unless it gets within us. That is the promise of the psalm.” (p. 43)
Every step we take, every breath we draw, we are aware of our God who is our protector and defender – the One who is closer than the very air we breathe, who guards our very life for now and throughout all time. So it is that we can sing, with Martin Luther:
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Rev. Deborah Hawboldt is the Senior Pastor of Atascocita United Methodist Church in Humble, Texas near Houston, Deborah and her staff would love to have you come worship with them anytime.
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