Our Heavenly Help
Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124 offers a stirring word of encouragement. It begins by asking a rhetorical question: "What if the LORD had not been on our side?" (124:1). The simple answer is: We'd be a complete mess, utterly without hope. But, because God is on our side, "the trap is broken, and we are free!" (124:7).
The last verse of this psalm reminds us of the glorious power of the Lord who is there for us: "Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth" (124:8). We're not talking about some regional god, some deity that has limited power. Rather, the one who helps us is the only true God, the LORD who revealed himself to Israel, the creator who made heaven and earth.
Honestly, my mind has a hard time grasping this amazing truth, that the God who created all things is there to help me. As you probably know, I work for Foundations for Laity Renewal, the parent organization of Laity Lodge. This marvelous retreat center in the Texas Hill Country lies about 75 miles from San Antonio. The nearest town, Leakey (pronounced LAKE-ee), has a population of 387 people. Thus, the night skies at Laity Lodge are some of the most awe-inspiring I have ever seen, because there is so little ambient light. On a clear night, one can see thousands of stars, not to mention the vast gauziness of the Milky Way.
Sometimes, as I gaze up in the heavens at Laity Lodge, I remember the words of Psalm 8:3-4: "When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?" Psalm 124:8 adds to the wonder by underscoring the fact that God not only thinks about us and cares for us, but also helps us. What a wonder!
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What helps to expand your vision of God's greatness? Where do you need God's help today?
Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by Thee;
Joyless is the day’s return
Till Thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart
Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day. Amen.
John Wesley, "Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies," 1740.