My Help Comes from the Lord

Vol. 20 No. 07 | February 12, 2018

A Pilgrim Song

I look up to the mountains;

does my strength come from mountains?

No, my strength comes from God,

who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let you stumble,

your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.

Not on your life! Israel’s

Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s your Guardian,

right at your side to protect you—

Shielding you from sunstroke,

sheltering you from moonstroke.

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.[1]

I’m not exactly sure what a moonstroke is, but when Eugene Peterson calls this a pilgrim song, I know exactly what he means.

When you think of pilgrim, try not to think of a person wearing a black suit, peculiar shoes with big buckles, and a strange looking hat. Think instead of traveler, tourist, wayfarer, or visitor.

Maybe you can also relate to a bumper sticker I saw recently:

All wanderers are not lost.

I’m not lost, but I certainly feel like a wanderer- moving along, often at a rapid pace, on my way somewhere to do something with and for someone, constantly trusting that God is with me.

Some will remember singing these words: “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through.” It’s never been one of my favorites necessarily, but the sentiment often resonates with me as I work my way through life. I am a pilgrim. I am a visitor in this world, and I am a wanderer in this land.

Psalm 121 offers a couple of adjustments that may help us keep our wanderings on course.

First, be aware of where you’re looking for help and direction. Where are you looking? The Psalmist says, “My help comes from the Lord.” When I find myself wandering off course, I can usually trace it back to looking for help, hope, and guidance from my own wisdom or from the wisdom of other people. But real wisdom, real hope, and real guidance comes from the Lord.

Second, remember the Lord will provide us with protection even when we are wandering. Although we can’t always hear what God is saying to us and see where He is leading us, this doesn’t mean He has forgotten or is ignoring us.

I have no way of knowing where you are on your journey through this life. But I hope these rambling words will give you comfort that you’re not alone on your pilgrimage and you’re not forgotten. Not by the people who love you and not by the Lord.

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2018 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved

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[1] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Ps 121:1–8.

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