Reposted and revamped from my old blog.
All of the good things I have are because of Jesus. I know that. James 1:17 tells me that. People talk about counting our blessings and thanking God for our stuff all of the time. My students every day shout, “Gracias a Dios!” for another new day.
But Psalms 121:1 reminds me that not only do my good things come from God, but also my help. All of the times this summer that I responded in patience or reacted quickly to a situation that was getting out of hand or pulled everything together for club – those things were God. Every time I need to bite down on a pen cap to keep from bursting out frustration and impatience all over my students and patience and grace burst out instead – those things are definitely God. He has always been my help, even when I didn’t realize I needed help. Or didn’t want to admit I needed help.
But I do need help. I need help a lot. I need help calling an electrician and moving big things. I need help with my Spanish
sometimes often and I need help loving my students well. And I’m willing to bet that if you are a human, you too might find yourself in need of help – in one form or another. If at anytime you both realize and admit that you need help, Psalms 121:1 gives us great instructions on how to go about receiving the best help around.
So here’s the thing about Psalms 121:1 –
1. First, I look to something outside of myself for help. I lift my eyes to the hills. When I am struggling, when I am tired, when I am hot, when I am frustrated, when I have no clue how to proceed, I look past myself and to the hills. I look to God where I know I can find Him (in music, in others, in His Word, etc.).
2. My help comes from the Lord. As an external processor (aka someone who talks to themselves) at times I just need to say something out loud (and/or type it) to really realize it. My help comes from the Lord. My help comes from the Lord. When I look past myself (or even when I can’t see past the stormy waters swirling around my head as I drown in my insufficiencies) God has already shown up and is already at work restoring me to His likeness. Any help, any forward motion, anything good or perfect in me comes from the Lord. And for that He deserves praise. My help comes from the Lord. Thank you, Yahweh.
3. God is the maker of heaven and earth. He can do stinking anything. He spoke and stars happened for crying out loud! First of all, God can do stinking anything which means my piddly problems about misplaced cash or hurt feelings are a piece of cake for such a mighty God. Second of all, God can do stinking anything and yet He chooses to take care of my piddly problems.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:30
Jesus is all set. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He’s hanging out in heaven at the Father’s right hand looking at all those stars they spoke into being. And yet He chooses to take on our burdens. He invites us to hand over our yokes. The same God who created whales (seriously, whales are so big they blow my mind) and planets and tides and gravity and friendship and laughter wants to handle your stuff. He keeps the world moving around and everything orbiting everything else and He really, honestly cares about your relationship with your roommate.
Today, maybe you need to lift your eyes up to the hills. Maybe you’re trying to solve this problem all on your own and you. are. struggling. Maybe you need to look outside yourself, look past the problem, and lift your eyes up to where God is waiting to take on your yoke. Acknowledge the good that He has placed in your life. Acknowledge the good work He has done in you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
After all of that acknowledging, cast your freaking cares! Give ‘em up! He wants them! He wants them all! And He can totally handle them. Once you get that guilt and shame and those mistakes off your chest and heart and mind you are free to receive the new creation things God has waiting for you. And those things are awesome and light. And I mean light in every sense of the word. They don’t weigh very much and they illuminate all of God’s goodness that resides in you.
Celebrate His death and rising. Lift your eyes proclaim His coming. Celebrate His death and rising. Lift your eyes, lift your eyes…