I raise my eyes toward the mountains.Psalm 121 Common English Bible
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
God won’t let your foot slip.
Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
No! Israel’s protector never sleeps or rests!
The Lord is your protector;
The Lord is your shade right beside you.
The sun won’t strike you during the day;
neither the moon at night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
God will protect your very life.
The Lord will protect you on your journeys –
whether going or coming –
from now until forever from now.
Our dog, Mig, is a wonderful dog but a relatively unreliable protector. In the face of harmless things like an Amazon package delivery, garbage trucks strolling by, or the neighbor across the street opening her garage door, she will faithfully break into a full-blown, barking attack mode. If we get excited about something, or if we are having too much fun, she will often bark at us until we settle down.
However, if someone else actually enters our home (thankfully it has not ever been an intruder), we are lucky if she lifts her head up from her nap or notices at all.
At least she looks intimidating, right?
We live in a culture in which we are inundated with scary news about anything from microscopic germs to worldwide destruction. It’s a natural instinct to want protection from our fears, real or imagined, and countless industries use our fear to manipulate us into buying protection in some form.
While a healthy amount of fear keeps us safe in the face of genuine danger, an exaggerated sense of fear can paralyze us. As people of faith, we are challenged to serve God, love others and do good even if we are feeling afraid. We are not to let fear stop us from our call to ministry.
Today’s Psalm reading is a pilgrimage song, believed to be speaking about God’s protecting the faithful as they were on a religious journey. It is my prayer that we can continue to remember that God is faithful to protect us.
Holy God, thank you for your faithful protection. Help us to discern when our fears are keeping us from loving your children. Lead us to love in the face of our fears and doubts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1. Where do you find security and protection?
2. When have fears about people kept you from loving them well?
3. What fears can you lift up to God?