Do you ever feel consumed by fear?
Do you ever feel like you’re just stuck in cycles of shame?
Do you ever feel like you can’t even imagine God could ever use you for something significant?
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
I love these verses because they illustrate perfectly what it looks like when we are seeing clearly, seeing past our fear, guilt and shame. They present an image of the confidence that comes when God, not our feelings or difficulties, is at the center of our focus.
In Hebrew, the phrase “I lift up my eyes” carries the meaning of noticing and becoming part of something. It indicates peering intently, with purpose. That is how we get our vision corrected. We peer intently at God, purposefully becoming part of what God is doing in our lives.
This Psalm captures, in a few words, one of our greatest freedoms as humans: the freedom to choose what we focus on. God has provided me with the opportunity to change my thinking in any instant, and that cannot be taken away.That is a choice nothing in heaven or earth can take from us. But we have to choose wisely. And nobody get’s this perfect. It’s so easy for our attention to drift.
You see, if I choose to, I can focus my attention on my problems. I can focus my attention on my fear, on my heightened sense of vulnerability, and my diminished sense of power. And to be honest I’ve done quite a bit of that lately. When life isn’t turning out the way you thought it’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have or what you feel like you’re losing or maybe what’s gone wrong. I can focus on those things or I can focus on God. I get that choice, anytime and anywhere.
Regardless of what is going on in your body, in your bank account, your marriage, your career, your kids’ lives, or in any other part of your world, you can—right now—if you choose, focus on God. You can lift up your eyes and peer intently at Him. You can remember that your help comes from God—not from you, from God. And God is bigger than anything you are facing right now, no matter what it is.
There’s a little prayer (that I’m embarrassed to admit) that I feel like I have to pray on almost a daily basis. Maybe today, this prayer would be helpful for you.
It goes like this:
There is a God, and it’s not me. God you’re in control and I surrender this day, and all it holds to you. I realize that I don’t have the control I often think and so today I lean into and focus on you, the only One who has ever had control.