I lift my eyes up to the mountains

I lift my eyes5

 Summer is a time for resting, rejuvenating, and rejoicing!

Children are out of school. Families and friends come together in fellowship. Many of us take a vacation. Summer is special to me. As a teacher, I am able to rest, restore, and rebuild my spirit after a whirlwind of hard work throughout the year. Once the school-year ends, rest and rejuvenation begins.

One of my favorite ways to rejuvenate is to go camping. I love the mountains. I love spending time in the great outdoors, sleeping in tents, roasting marshmallows for s’mores over a warming campfire, telling ghost stories as the fire dies. This summer, my family and I found a spot right next to small creek.  Nothing beats listening to the bubbling water of a creek near the campsite as I sit and relax, enjoying the crisp, clean air.

It doesn’t matter where your special place is as long as you get there and rest, relax and rejuvenate.

         Psalm 121:1-8

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
  My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

  He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
  indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

  The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121, was especially on my mind as I spent time in those wonderful majestic mountains. This Psalm reminds me of when I was in high school. I was on the swim team, and I would have to be at the pool by dawn. It wasn’t always easy because the water was cold in the mornings. But when I swam the backstroke on those misty mornings, I would look up into the gorgeous sky and sing, quietly in my head, a song inspired from this Psalm. It strengthened my mind as I mediated continually on these verses.

Many years have passed since then, but I still meet Him in the morning. Nowadays, with a warm cup of coffee in my hand. I read a chapter in the bible and pray for safety, discernment, and help throughout the day. In my youth I knew where my help came from. Today I still do. My help comes from higher than the mountains. God dwells on high and He  is able to abundantly meet our needs. He does exceedingly more than we could ever ask or think  (Ephesians 3:20). feet from slipping  Do you remember the story where Peter was walking on water?

He was able to walk onto the water but when we took his eyes of Jesus he began to sink (Matthew 14:22-33). I know right? This lesson is something we all need to learn from. We need to keep are eyes on “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)

He is the one that can help us. He is the one that created each of us. He knows every hair on our head, and he holds each tear that we shed in a bottle (Psalms 56:8). He is full of compassion and rich in love.

God is intricately involved in our lives. So much so that he promises that our feet will not slip if he does not permit it. His grace is unending. We are watched and cared for and God sees us as the apple of His eye. We shouldn’t seize to look up and recognize that our help comes from the Lord above.

The Lord watches over you

Yahweh watches over us. We shouldn’t fear the wind, rain, or sun because God promises to protect us, “the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.”  If it is not His will for us, it will not be permitted in our lives. When we do go through seasons of sorrow — when we feel faint of spirit– it is only for our good.

Psalms 30:5  tells us “weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”

We don’t always know the end results but God does: “For all things work together for good for those that are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) river treesv4 As I walk this road called life, I can breathe freely knowing that whatever path I may take God watches over me. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. His promises are undeniable. His aim is to keep us from harm. What a peace we have in Jesus. What rest we can enter into the dwelling place of the Lord most high knowing that we are safe now and forever more.

Psalms 91:1-2 tells us,

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord,

“He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

What is even more astounding than his protection is that he wants us to experience life abundantly (John 10:10).  God’s desire is more than just provision, He wants us to “soar on wings of eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.” Eagle Soaring

   Isaiah 40:28-31

 Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary  and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 Wow. I am reminded by just how much God loves me. He wants nothing but the best for me. I can hope in him because he wants to restore me. His plans are for me to be stronger, wiser, and be renewed. There is no higher name than Jesus. We are told in the book of Philippians 2:10-11, “that ever tongue will confess and every knee will bow.”

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, might you say a prayer to invite him into your life? Jesus says, he stands at the door and knocks and he will enter into your heart and life when you invite him in (Revelations 3:20). There is no better place to be than in the presences and protection of Jesus. If you would like to invite him into your life, this is a simple prayer you can pray..

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I know that I am a sinner saved by grace. Please forgive me of my sin and enter into my life. I receive everything you have for me. I offer up my life to you. Please help me to live for you and to turn from my sin. 

 Amen.

If you sincerely asked God to come into your life, then you have begun your personal relationship with Him. He has come into your heart and will guide you through the Holy Spirit that now dwells inside of you. I would suggest getting involved in a Bible-based church. Your new journey in Christ will allow you to learn His will for you. Aside from fellowship with other believers, it is important to pray and read your bible daily. Below are a few verses that show God’s promises to you:

” That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

(Romans 10:9)

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)  

As we continue to find rest this summer, may we remember to look up and know for certain where our help comes from.

Linking up with: Testimony Tuesday, RaRa Linkup, Tuesday Talk, Coffee for Your Heart, and The Weekend Brew.

    

Ever Present Help in Times of Trouble…

Woods

Each and ever day I need God’s strength to make it through. I cannot predict the future. I face many different decisions throughout the day. There are roads not taken…and some chosen…each with their own bends and twists in the woods that lead us to another unknown place.  Robert Frost wrote a poem describing the dilemma each of us face in the array of choices presented to us each and every day.

The Road Not Taken  1874–1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stoodWoods bridge
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost explores the theme of choice.  Yet, there are so many interpretations of how Frost is exploring this theme.  Does it mean that all choices in life our sometimes equal?  For example, the poem suggests that both choices are “just as fair.” Or does it mean that some choices impact us in ways that make “all the difference.” I really do not know. I think the unknown combined with the idea of the dilemma’s we face creates the complexity and  intrigue of this well crafted poem. It is a common but exquisite metaphor, that the speaker is in the woods, a place where we may be scared and in need of safety  from any danger that can approach our way. As I think about my own life,  I often think of a decision I made and don’t see the impact until time has passed. As Robert Frost suggests, in the lines, “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence,” it is hard to see, in the moment,  the result of a road taken or not taken. For example, how can any of us know if it was the right decision to change careers, start a family, move across the country?  It isn’t until a significant time has passed that the outcome becomes clear.

Woods Waterfallgreen barn

I am intrigued by these lines in the  poem:  “Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted I would never go back.”  Robert Frost is suggesting that many opportunities may never come around again once we pass them by.  I don’t believe this is true.  Through hope, and determination, and hard work we can revisit paths me may not have been able to walk down before. We should not live in fear. If we are thoughtful and have two choices, sometimes neither can be wrong. Some may be more difficult; however, as this anonymous quote suggests: “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.” If you are ever given two options that are difficult to chose between, you can rest at ease. If we stumble, we may just return, all the more stronger and wiser, to that fork in the woods where we can take the path that we missed. It is never to late to begin again…

Deers in the woods

 

My own version of ” The Road Not Taken” by: Robert Frost

Choices

Although the choices we face in life may always be

filled with doubt, indecision, or regret

It is never to late

Our  life is full of decisions that must be made

but yes, we can always return to another day

Filled with new possibilities

To find love in unknown places,

To find the happiness and the fulfillment we need,

To find a resting place just like home.

Home is where the Heart is. Where does your heart lie?

Small birdhouse

How do we rest and find peace in the mist of the endless bends and twists in this road called life? I rely on God. Psalm 46 reads,” God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.”  Thus, whatever path I chose I can find rest in this,” … Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9