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Devotional: March 18, 2020

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

I am finding myself walking down a path which I know I have never seen before. It’s a path that we are all walking these days. We are taking it step by step, not really sure of what the stones and curves will look like around the next corner. In actuality, though, isn’t this the path we have always been on? We have never known, for sure, what the next step looked like, until we took it. Our daily walks have usually felt predictable and familiar, like our calendars, which remind us of how our days will go. Our routines have been disrupted, and our daily walks are now taking us into uncharted territory, which does not look even remotely familiar.

All through the scriptures, there are verses of comfort, challenge, hope, commands and promises. Every one of these varied passages remind us of what to do, especially when we are in situations just like our present challenges. Today, I am looking at some of the same verses I have always read. Yet it almost feels almost like I need to dust off some of those familiar words, to see them as God intended for me to see them, at this very moment.

In Eugene Peterson’s translation of the bible, “The Message”, Psalms 121 reads, “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from Mountains? My strength comes from God, who made heaven and earth”. When I look out the window in the front of our house, I see mountains, which are the beginning of the Cascade Mountain Range. When we traveled to the Holy Land, we saw some of the mountains that David wrote about in this passage. Now, we did not travel to the north, where Mount Hermon is located, so the mountains we did see in Israel, we would call hills. They pale in comparison to those where we live. Yet, when David talks about lifting his eyes to the mountains, I can’t help but believe that he is not just referring to the physical mountains themselves, but to the action of looking upward.

David was looking for strength, just as we are looking for strength during these unusual and uncertain times. We need strength, and David reminds us from where he received his strength. I love the visual aids which David often puts into his Psalms. David probably enjoyed looking up at the beauty of the mountains where he lived, just as we do. On a cold winter morning, when the clouds lifted, perhaps he could see the majestic peaks, with fresh snow on them. David knew that every generation would be reminded of God’s mighty strength, by lifting their eyes upward to one of God’s many creations, and then focusing on the maker of those creations.

David sought and found the strength he needed, and we can do the same. Although in our valley we are blessed with breath-taking views, we need only to focus on what God really wants us to see: His abounding love, comfort, healing, hope, assurance, and strength.

This virus that is spreading in our world is extremely unsettling and yes, it is uncharted territory. David tells us what to do, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders, He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out” Ps 55:16

We are not walking alone on this path. It may be filled with morning fog, but God will take our hand. He is walking with me, and He will walk with all of us. Put your hand out, and He will grasp it, and hold on to you. You are safe in the assurance of His everlasting love. He will carry your load.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Lord, As we look at the challenging path ahead, remind us that you are traveling ahead of us. Your love guards us, protects us, and keeps us safe. Help us to lean on you today, and every day. May we be assured that you are with us. Not just today, but every single day. We pray this prayer in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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