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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

lifting my eyes

One of the simple pleasures of life is to be able to open my bedroom door and watch the sun over the eastern mountains. The air is cool, cold almost, but the sun shines on me bright and warm. I wish I could sit outside for a while each day, but it just isn’t possible with my knees and crutches so I make do with my patch of sunshine and an open door.

I’ve said many times that I never understood David’s statement in Psalms: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. I mean, how could the hills help him? It just didn’t make sense to me. Then I met New Mexico’s mountains and it all began to connect.
They lift their giant slopes in the horizon, huge, yet dwarfed by the sky and the distance. They seem so enduring than nothing can move them. God is like that, enduring and strong, ever present.

Our door faced east when I lived in Rock Springs. (All traditional Navajo doors face east) It was there I learned to lift up my eyes to the hills. No matter what my problems, they were dwarfed by those mountains. No matter how pressured I was by time or how late someone was in arriving, those mountains made me understand the value of waiting patiently on the Lord.

The mountains provided an orientation for my sense of direction. I don't ever remember being 'lost' in the desert and I hiked a lot, by myself and with others. The mountains in the east were always there to provide a point of reference. All I ever had to do was turn around, head back toward the mountians and I'd end up on the road again, eventually. In the same way, David's mountains were always there providing him with his direction. And the 'mountain of God" still provides spiritual direction for us. It is there. All we have to do, if we wander and become lost, is go toward it.

David said, ‘from whence cometh my help’ -- not really comprehensible to me either. Then I came to realize that inevitably, I could depend on the Sun rising over those mountains, No matter how dark the night, I knew that morning was coming. No matter how cold the wait, the sun would rise above the mountains. Help came, in one sense, from those hills. No wonder the semi-arid desert Jews related the faithfulness of God to those mountains and hills surrounding them.

The prophet Malachi referred to Christ as the Sun of righteousness. ( But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; ) I never understood that until I saw the desert sun blaze out above the mountains. The whole world then was lying in darkness and the Sun of righteousness arose over the mountains of sin and doubt and superstition and confusion and trial. Jesus came into our lives just like that too. Oh, we consider our selves more civilized and educated; we don’t have superstition and ignorance in our lives…But when the Sun of righteousness arises over our personal mountains, we find that we do have them. Then Jesus comes blazing over our horizon and His brightness burns away everything unlike Him. That’s when we discover just what we were and we can praise him for the healing He brings to our spiritual condition.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your testimony, and your comments on Psalm 121. Actually, the second part of vs 1 was likely intended as a question, as many of the modern versions show.

    In those days, the hills were full of robbers, ready to attack travelers. They looked up with some anxiety at the dangers that might be hiding there. That's when the psalmist asks, "From whence comes my help? And he answers his own question in the next verse: "My help comes from the Lord."

    If you want to see a beautiful hymn based on this psalm, check out "Unto the Hills" on my blog. It was written by John Campbell, the former Governor General of Canada. Today is the 95th anniversary of his death.

    May the Lord bless you in your walk with Him.