Lent Devotion: April 13th
April 13, 2019
By Caryn Baham
Psalm 121 (NKJV):
1I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
from whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Read the full psalm.
Psalm 121:1 is the very first verse I memorized in my childhood. Memorization was easy because that verse was etched on a window at the front of our church, which, in fact, did look up to the glorious “hills” west of Denver (the direction that our sanctuary faced). As a young girl, I would look for opportunities to be up near those windows, and I would trace each letter with my finger as I overlooked the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
Many childhood days were spent hiking those mountains, and many spiritual lessons were learned while exploring the forests. I learned the value of looking at the terrain ahead and being prepared. I learned that seeing light ahead meant that I had reached a new plane but not necessarily the summit, which always seemed over the next horizon. I learned that the journey is almost always longer than I thought it would be, and, most importantly, I learned that I must always keep track of where the campsite and safety were located.
Though this psalm is not referenced or alluded to in the New Testament, it remains a popular psalm and has even been set to the glorious music of Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Leonard Bernstein’s “A Simple Song.” I think this popularity stems from the fact that we are all, in our own way, making a pilgrimage in this life. We all wonder what will come next, how we will deal with it, and when we will at long last reach that final summit that God has planned for our lives. The psalmist aptly points out that “my help” comes from the Lord, who is not only mighty enough to make the heavens and earth, but also intimate enough to be called “mine.” Though I know not what the light or darkness I see ahead will bring, I can rest knowing that God will continue to watch over my life through eternity. This will lead me to continue to look upward, to acknowledge the source of hope and strength in my life, both now and forevermore.
Prayer: Lord, may I ever look upward to the source of my greatest strength and help as I journey through this life. Thank you for the promise that you watch over my life, for the path you set before me, and for the guiding hand you offer every step of the way. Amen.
Caryn BahamCaryn Baham is a chaplain at Friendship Village of Schaumburg, a senior facility in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She makes annual trips to national parks as a source of renewal and strength for her ministry.