I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Up from the ground and what lies all around me…I look. I look up. I take my eyes off of that which seems so real and fix them on that which really is. What lies on the ground around my feet…what I hold with my hands…what I pursue with my plans…what I am setting my stride to accomplish…what happens without my influence…it all is here and now. But I am not merely a “here and now” person. I was made for something greater. I was made to bring glory to the One Who transcends time. Yes, He cares about the here and now, but His purposes are far greater than what I can see. He has eternity planned out. I am as a speck of dust without any significance, and all that I face really has no significance…except…He made it all. So, it does have significance. But what?
Still, I gaze up from my circumstances which seem so real…to that which really is. He is. Before there was time, He was. While time exists, He transcends it. From eternity past to eternity future, He will never change. He’ll always remain the same wise God Who never failed at anything…not even my life. Help never came from within me. So why should I expect it now? Help comes from above. The only One Who ever has the power to help at all offers help freely to His children. But why? Why would someone so frail as me earn the assistance of a Being Who never failed at anything? Because He loves me. But why me? Why not the person who doesn’t look up to Him? Such questions should cause me all the more to bow my heart in adoration to the One Who holds all my cells in their place..to the One Who guides each of my steps though I’m not aware of it…to the One Who offers help without my merit.
But why hills? Why is my view now filled with them? No doubt the King of the Universe wants me to keep in mind that He reigns over all. Even those who do not acknowledge His rule are His subjects. His entire purpose is to make His name great and to establish a perfect kingdom wherein His sovereign rule is acknowledged as what it really is. His glory is the climax of all of history, and it is only in realizing this that I will be able to head in the right direction. His city will never be destroyed. His reign will never be overthrown. And if He can accomplish all of this, surely He can keep my life on track.
My help comes directly from the maker of heaven and earth. He doesn’t relegate my needs to some lowly servant to tend to. No, He personally involves Himself with my cares. He is intimately acquainted with all my ways. None knows them as well as He. None knows my weakness as deeply and truly as He does. That the One Who has nations and armies at His command would care for me–a speck of dust with no significance, is enough to secure my never-ending devotion, trust, and fear. Devotion, in that I continually seek how I may know Him. Trust, in that I do not worry about anything because I know He controls it all. Fear, in that I shrink from even the slightest rebellion of my heart toward Him because I hate bringing pain to the One Who gave His life that I might live.
What does God’s help look like? It cannot be compared to earthly help. It is a divine service that cannot be duplicated by mere men.
He doesn’t allow me to fall forever. Though I may trip over my own feet or stumble over a providential bump in the path, He always sets my feet upon a rock. He doesn’t leave me to find my own way up. He picks me up and sets me up to walk again. And He does this over and over and over again. When I sin and repent, He forgives over and over and over again. Without fail. Furthermore, no fall is too great that He cannot set me on the path again. He will. He always will. None of His sheep get lost. He always finds them when they wander. His record at keeping sheep is untarnished. There’s no safer place to fall than in His fold.
I grow weary. I need sleep. But the Shepherd stays awake. He watches diligently that I am not harmed. Nothing goes past Him unnoticed. Even while I dream about fulfilling some selfish want, He plans how He will redeem me again. And even before I start into the slough of despond, He plans how He will pull me out. Nothing, absolutely nothing–not even my own selfish wants–will keep me from His best for me. He is too great to be thwarted by little me–a speck of dust and foolish sheep.
He keeps me. None can take me from His hand. No tribulation, peril, or sword is strong enough. I am not even strong enough to leave. How comforting this is. When I wonder if I could fall from grace, He is gracious to remind me that my trust is in Him, not myself. And if He saved me, then He surely will keep me. Oh what a wonderful God He is!
He is right there to comfort me and give me rest. In the midst of life’s toils, I need seek no further for refreshment than the shade He provides. He is always there by my side to provide strength and sustenance. He is there to give me relief from the harsh blaze of the noonday sun. At night, He is my light. The trials I face are always easier when I’m covered with His wings.
He will keep me from all evil. Not just some evil. Not just the evil that I notice. Not just the evil that I fight against first. But all evil. What a comfort! My preservation in righteousness is not dependent on my faithfulness but on His faithfulness. He will keep my life. There is no one else who could make such a promise. But God can because He is my Maker and rescuer from eternal fire. And thus, He is fully committed to bringing me safe to the other side of these tumultuous waters.
The Lord will keep me in all my ways. Whether I am at home or abroad, He will keep me in His will. He has every step ordained for me. Though I exercise the wisdom He gives me to decide what I will do with any given moment, ultimately it is He Who determines my steps. How comforting and strengthening it is to know that I can do nothing if He doesn’t ordain it. And I can go nowhere without Him taking me there. Therefore, I can confidently go in the direction of my dreams, knowing that the God Who placed those desires in my heart will be faithful to guide me every step of the way. He will bring about His plan for my life, and I don’t have to worry that He will make a mistake. Because He won’t.
Never in history has my God failed. Never in eternity will He lose one battle. Never in forever will He fall short of one thing that He sets out to accomplish. This is the God Who holds me in His hand. This is the God Who guides me with His eye. This is the God Who covers me with His wings. What have I to fear? Absolutely nothing. Because my help comes from the Lord. My help is the Lord.