But, most of all, this mountain frequently brings to mind one of my favorite verses in the Psalms:
"I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1While I loved this verse in my college days of spending summers in the Colorado Rockies, it first became a great encouragement to me when my husband and I were newlyweds and were in Guatemala City. I was overwhelmed by the poverty that was so prevalent and by the crime and real danger we were exposed to there. I found myself crying out to the Lord, "I don't know if I can live here!". God gently reminded me to lift my eyes, not just to the beauty of the volcanoes and mountains surrounding the city (which were so easy to not see when overwhelmed by what we were seeing on the streets!), but to Him, my help.
A couple of years later, God redirected us to Costa Rica, and to language school in the capital city, San José, where at first my focus was too much on the barred windows, the high concrete walls, and razor wire surrounding each building. It seemed scary, and definitely wasn't the physical beauty my heart longed for. But, again, God reminded me of Psalm 121- to lift my eyes up, not just to the hint of a mountain I could see if I stood at just the right angle on our apartment's balcony, but up further to Him who promises to watch over me. I had to choose what I was going to focus on - my overwhelming, unfamiliar surroundings, or my God who is my help.
|our well secured apartment building in San José, Costa Rica (that still got broken into!)|
I wish I could say that that memorable moment was a total turning point for me, because it was so significant in my process of accepting Costa Rica as my home... but, I still struggle with letting my surroundings and circumstances govern my feelings and focus. We recently moved to a different house, and I've been feeling disoriented now that I can't see "my" mountain. But, God is working on me, reminding me that the point of lifting my eyes to the hills isn't to just to be blessed by their beauty, but to be reminded of Him who is my true strength and help.
As I post this, I'm praying for all of us - that we will be women who live with eyes lifted up to our Maker, whatever our surroundings and circumstances might be!
"He will not let your foot slip - He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will not 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 watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." - Psalm 121:3-8I would love to hear from you. Is it hard to move your focus off of what is difficult about your current surroundings and on to God? What has been encouraging you lately to live with eyes lifted up to Him?