“From where does my help come?” (Ps 121)

Arnold SchillerIn memory of Arnold Schiller.

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.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” We just heard these words read in the Psalm. That’s a genuine and very relevant question. Isn’t it? From where does my help come? We all ask this question at some point in our lives.

This is nothing to be ashamed for. We all need help. For who are we? As prophet Isaiah put it: “All flesh is grass… the grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.” (Isa 40:6-7) As psalmist wrote: “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” (Ps 90:10)

This is a very fitting description of our lives, indeed. Sure, this is not how we think about ourselves on daily bases. We are so much involved in our daily struggles, in toil and trouble, that we rarely have a time to stop and reflect on the most important questions. From where does my help come?

When we look at our lives, to the world around us, we can easily conclude that this is a hostile world. Hostile, indeed. We need to fight for our lives all the time. There is one think we all are looking for. One thing we all need. That is – security. Yes, security. Isn’t this that drives most of our activities? Need for security.

If we want to be honest we need to admit that we are not in control of our lives. Sure there are certain aspects which we can and need to control. But the more we reflect on this, the more we can see how little depends on us.

The most important things in our life are given to us. Life, family, race, our gifts and talents, country or origin, environment, community, education, opportunities, health, – all of these are given. We don’t have much control over them, do we?

Our culture has made wonderful progress trying to help us to cope with our daily ‘toils and troubles’. Police, technology, medicine, insurances, supers, and so on. All of this serve one purpose – security. To help us to feel safe in this world. To help us to have some kind of security in our otherwise quite unpredictable lives.

We are blessed to life in this culture where we are quite protected from famine, violence, sicknesses, accidental losses, etc. We are really blessed, indeed. We can feel quite secure. But the question remains…

From where does my help come? For it doesn’t take a long to understand that all these things on which we rely so much cannot give us ultimate security. They all are temporary. Made by us, run by us. Good, useful crutches that we use to feel secure.

Psalmist offers different answer. Ultimate answer. “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” All people know in their hearts that there is something or someone higher. For what can be known about God Creator – His power, wisdom, control, it is revealed in things created. He is the ultimate source of help.

Fine, one can say. Everyone knows that there is someone higher, but why would we put our ultimate security in His hands? Why would we trust Him, rely on Him? For He is your Creator. You are totally dependent on Him anyway. It is just a matter of acknowledging it.

As it is written: “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Act 17:28) “He is the fountain of our life.” (Ps 36:9) “He formed us in our mother’s womb.” (Ps 139:13) “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Mat 10:30) That’s how things are.

We, as His creatures, are in His control. We have a lot of freedom to choose where we are going to put our trust. That’s right. But only He can give us true  security and true peace in all situations and in all times.

As psalmist wrote, only He can keep you from all evil; only he can keep your life. Only He can keep your going out and coming in from this time forth and forevermore. No one else has this power.

But the most importantly, this is the key, He is not some kind of unknown power. He has come and revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. He has showed how much He cares for you. He has revealed His attitude to you. He is ready to lay down His life for you.  He is your Creator already, yes. But He wants to be also your God.

What does it mean? He wants you to know that He is not only your Creator, but also your Father in Heaver. That He is for you always.

He came and revealed Himself so that we could live in security and peace, assured that He as our Father is with us now and always. He wants to assure you that He is your rock and your shield, your help. That there is no reason for worries, neither here, nor when you leave this world. For your help comes from Him.

Arnold put His trust on the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He knew that this Helper will be with him always. That God the Father us ultimate security. That’s how you can be at peace.

Today we all are reminded to ask: “From where does your help come?” Today we all are invited to accept God’s offer. My help comes from God the Father who created heaven and earth, and from His Son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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