Lift Up Your Eyes
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
This has always been a close and cherished psalm to my heart. There is something so lovely about the wording and comforting about it’s flow. It’s verses bring to mind a journey, suggested from the very category of the psalm itself: a song of ascents. The psalmist paints a picture of one standing at the base of a mountain, preparing for a journey ahead, fearful for what lies on the other side of the barrier, and anxious for the steps it will take to arrive there.
Beth Moore said it so beautifully in her book “Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent”:
“Psalm 121…painting in beautiful brush strokes the image of a traveler on his journey. He looks at the hills in the distance, wondering and probably even fearing what might be on the other side. He anticipates the long, arduous journey ahead and, like all of us, wishes he could arrive in the blink of an eye rather than feel the effects of life on the road.”
So many days, I feel like this. I look at my days, I see uncertainty and anxiety starts to grip my heart like a vice. The road ahead is daunting, and I just want to know that I can make it to the top of that mountain. And yet I need look no further than the first five words of Psalm 121 to see God’s instruction for me: I will lift up my eyes. Starring at the rocky road before me fills me with dread, anxiety, and fear. I become nervous and I start to lose my focus. The answer? Lift up your eyes.
When we place our focus above and on the Words that God has spoken to us in His word and through our own time with Him, we find that we are still traversing the same rocky roads, but that they have ceased becoming the scary, unknown, and anxiety-inducing places we originally thought them to be. Why? Because they are no longer our focus. Our eyes have been lifted. We’re focusing on Him instead. Something that I love about the Lord is that He has a way of stepping into our situations and changing them without actually changing the circumstances themselves. He can change us, and that makes all the difference.
Today, lift up your eyes. Are troubling thoughts threatening to overtake you? Lift up your eyes. Is fear gripping you so hard that all you can see, feel, and hear is crippling your life and stunting your joy? Lift up your eyes. Are you anxious about the unknown? Lift up your eyes. And don’t just lift them up, but leave them there. God’s Word promises to be a lamp to light our path (Psalm 119:105), so we don’t have to fear stumbling along the way if we don’t look at the ground before us. Lift up your eyes and watch as He changes you in the midst of your situation. By shifting your focus, you’ll see that He can take and change your life in ways you never thought possible.
Lift up your eyes.