Quaint Little Pothole
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2 (NRSV)
A few years ago, our family hiked the Grand Canyon. Going down was tough on my knees. Climbing up was worse. I popped ibuprofen like M&Ms.
Halfway to the top, I wanted a helicopter. Then, my 12-year-old son, who could have been named Tigger, spotted the upper rim and did a little bouncy dance to motivate me. It was still miles away, but it put a new spring in my creaky steps.
Psalm 121 is known as “The Traveler’s Psalm.”It was spoken or sung as pilgrims traveled to the hilly area of Jerusalem for festivals, much like we might travel to a favorite spot each year, singing with the car stereo as we go.
Traveling in those days was exhausting. When people approached their final destination—the hill of Jerusalem—they rejoiced, but those over-the-hill in years needed motivation for the final push. They sang Psalm 121, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where will my help come? My help comes from God, maker of heaven and earth.”
In other words: “That hill might be high, my knees might be screaming bloody murder, but the Creator is greater.” Challenges shrink and confidence rises when we remember the goodness and greatness of our God.
I made it to the top of the Grand Canyon on my own two feet. It’s a mighty big, and mighty glorious gem of creation for which I have renewed respect and awe. Next to the Grand Creator, however, it’s a quaint little pothole.
Whatever hills I face today, my help comes from you, Maker of heaven and earth.
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first two books, The Spinner Prince and The Four Guardians are available now.