Song Of The Wild
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-- from where will my help come?"
Last week, we learned that the season of Lent calls us into the wilderness just as Matthew says that "Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit." This is a curious expression of God's involvement in Jesus' life. I find it beautiful that the Christian tradition acknowledges the fact that much of our lives take place in seasons of hardship. Psalm 121 is a song for pilgrims, wanderers in the wild. We have all raised our eyes and wondered at some point the opening line of this song, "Where in the world is my help?" The question of the wanderer is always some version of "Why am I here?" The wanderer's song of the wild provides the response.
God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.
Have you ever continued to pray for or sing about the assurance of God's help even when you didn't feel it?
It's fascinating that the first two verses are written from the questioning perspective of the wanderer: Where will my help come? My strength comes from God.
But the wanderer abruptly switches to singing over another or perhaps being sung to by someone else: He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep, not on your life!
We all need assurance on the wild journey through life. Even when it's difficult believing our journey has meaning or a destination, we can find encouragement in the soundtrack of the wanderer. In the song, this is peace is symbolized by the shade found by the traveler. Abraham and Sarah ventured into the wild on God's promise. The Israelites came out of the waters of the Red Sea into 40 years of wandering and questioning God's faithfulness. Later, exiled to Babylon, they questioned whether God would ever lead them back to their home. Days after being called God's Son by a voice from the heavens, Jesus is called into the wilderness to face temptations without food for 40 days. I love that singer-songwriters write what we often feel but don't know how to express ourselves. During this Lenten season, may we listen to the song of the wild and find shade in the promises of God.