Have you ever stood looking out into the future only to see no safe and sure way forward? Graduation with no job in sight. Or at the other end of things, you get laid off. Your son or daughter who is heedless of the fire they’re playing with. The consuming depression. The divorce that seems to end more than marriage. A terrible decision to be made. A move away from all you’ve known and loved. Retirement to what? The terrible diagnosis.
What do you tell yourself in those times? A lot of times, we tell ourselves things that are useless. Our self-talk only drives us deeper into a kind of spiritual wilderness.
Satan’s lies run rampant. Fear has a megaphone. So the important question is, what do you tell yourself that’s true?
We need to be prepared for times like that. We need a song for treacherous journeys.
Psalm 121 is one of the Bible’s most beloved psalms. It begins, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” What did the writer mean when he said, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains”? I’m inspired by looking at mountains. They feel strong, yet I know they are lifeless—all show but no help. Perhaps he saw mountains as daunting obstacles on the journey ahead, thinking like our American pioneers, How will I ever cross safely to the other side? Whatever he meant, he knew that the mountains were no answer. When he lifted his eyes to the mountains, he said, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121 is a beloved psalm, and it is one of 15 psalms all clustered together known as the Psalms of Ascent. No one knows for sure why they’re all labeled that way and gathered together in Scripture. ...
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Lee Eclov recently retired after 40 years of local pastoral ministry and now focuses on ministry among pastors. He is the author of Feels Like Home: How Rediscovering the Church as Family Changes Everything and Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers), as well as being a frequent contributor to Preaching Today and CT Pastors. To learn more about his Pastors' Gatherings visit www.leeeclov.com.