March 03, 2019
A very close friend was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Two years ago, Katie’s sister passed away from that disease. Another friend has been battling breast cancer these past few months. Several years ago, another good friend passed away from that same disease. In the last year and a half, we have lost both Katie’s parents; and just two months ago Bruce’s mother passed away.
Just before returning home to be with Bruce’s mother before Christmas last year, we learned we would no longer be able to remain in our adopted country. Our twenty years of work there would now come to an end. This storm of life we seem to be in has buffeted us pretty hard; yet at the same time, many have noticed an inner strength and peace. From where does this come?
Scholars believe Ps 120-134, identified at the beginning of each of these psalms as “A Song of Accent,” may have been sung during the Israelites’ pilgrimages to worship at their temple in Jerusalem. This ancient city, located at an elevation of ~2500 feet, required the travelers to climb in elevation as they ascended to the place holding special significance to them as the place where our Father resides.
Psalm 121 states: “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.” (Psalm 121:1–2, ESV). As they traveled, they looked up to the hills heading towards Jerusalem and gained a sense of the Creator of heaven and earth. This gave them peace and inner strength as they traveled and lived their lives.
We do not have a Jerusalem located on a hill upon which to gaze to obtain what we need to face the storms that life throws at us. But we do have the Creator’s creation all around us upon which to feast our eyes and know that He is there for us regardless of what happens. Our strength comes from Him, each and every day. That is how we can stay at peace in the midst of our storm.