Where Do I Look?
I’m sitting here late at night listening to Bebo Norman’s song, I Will Lift My Eyes. Have you heard it? The heart of the song is found in the words, “I will lift my eyes to the maker of the mountains I can’t climb. I will lift my eyes to the calmer of the oceans raging wild. I will lift my eyes to the healer of the hurt I hold inside. I will lift my eyes to You.”
The song brings to mind a psalm. Psalm 121: I will lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. Now I think it is natural for us to read that psalm and hear it through the ears of someone who is caught in a moment of awe while looking at the creative glory of God seen in the mountains. Like times when I have been in the Rocky Mountains in Estes park. I look up at these mountains and I just want to shout out, God you do good work! I look to the mountains and the mountains remind me of God.
It’s natural to think this is what was happening for the psalmist. But it wasn’t. In fact it was exactly the opposite. In the days when this psalm was written, people who looked to gods other than God for thier support would go up into the hills to build their altars. In fact they called their sacred areas, “High Places.” So the psalmist is looking up at these high places that people go to rather than going to God and he exclaims… I will lift my eyes to the hills and ask myself where does my help come from? My help does not come from the high places, my help comes from the God who created the high places.
So here’s my question…what high places are we looking to rather than God? I will lift my eyes up to Malls at Christmas. Where does my joy come from? Not from stuff, my joy comes from the Lord. I will lift my eyes up to the stock market. Where does my security come from? Not from my savings, my security comes from the Lord. I will lift my eyes up to the government. Where does my peace come from? Not from politics, my peace comes from the Lord.
Where are you lifting your eyes? Where does your help come from?
I’m thankful that you spur us to ask questions like this.
In my Christian experience with people, I have often found that the questions that trouble me most are the ones that raise eyebrows, douse a conversation in uncomfortable silence, or prompt a glib answer that doesn’t equal the question’s intensity.
God seems to welcome my questions. Since your sermon two weeks ago on joy I have been asking Him, “Is there joy for me this Christmas Season?”
Due to circumstances with one of our kids, joy seems a dim prospect. Our young adult son has turned his back on God, sunk into a depression and resists our efforts to help. A mom with a troubled kid doesn’t naturally see any prospect of joy.
Asking the question has brought me to tears and fervent prayer, but also to an unshakable sense of God’s company in my sorrow and an inexplicable, inkling of hope that there will be joy for me someday.
Thanks for prompting the questions.