When we find ourselves lost, where do we turn?
On every journey there comes a time when we realise we are not where we expected to be. This can dawn on us slowly or come as a complete shock –but it is what we choose to do in the moments immediately afterwards that will shape how we finish.
It is easy to be frightened by this revelation. Decide to frantically turn back or rush on alone, rely on our adrenaline, strength and agility to get us back to safety. Or to desperately reach out, grasping onto anyone or anything that looks like it might be able to help us.
This week we encourage you to pause and reflect on where you may be feeling lost and – stop, look and listen – for the Father who seeks us out wherever we may wander.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm –
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and for evermore.
This psalm reminds up of the importance of lifting our gaze. Not because our help comes from ‘up there’ in a physical sense, but because our helper is above all things. The sky, the mountains, the tallest of trees can be beautiful and magnificent to behold, but ultimately they fall short of the power and majesty of their creator. He alone can save us.
For this reflection we would encourage you to take some time to pause and turn towards Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord our protector.
It could be 10 minutes at lunchtime, or an hour on a sunny Saturday morning – whatever space you can find.
Find a place where you can look up; go for a walk in the park, a run up Arthur’s seat or sit by the window and look up at the sky. There is some music to listen to and an opportunity to draw or paint if you would like.
Take a few deep breaths. Identify where you may be feeling frantic or overwhelmed, where the decisions and pressures of life have got your head spinning. Recognise these things briefly, and as you breathe out release them into the hands of the father.
The Lord will keep you from harm
Gaze up at the sky, the tree tops, the distant line of the hills. Notice how the light catches the clouds, how the wind ruffles the leaves. Delight in their beauty.
If you wish, take this time to draw or paint what you see.
Think on how many lives have passed beneath these skies, how many feet have walked upon this landscape. How little they have changed.
But above all of this, our God reigns. His beauty and strength surpasses all that we can see or even imagine.
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
As you listen to this piece of music dwell on the things that you see and hear.
Rest here for a while and leave space for God to speak and reveal himself to you.
Listen to music: The Brilliance – Our God Alone
He leads the parched throats and cracked lips to water
in pools deep and cool
slowly stoop and drink deep.
To the weary bones and blistered feet he gives rest
in the gently waving grasses of a quiet meadow
be still and at peace.
This is the shepherd who sings as he walks
amidst the dust of long roads and rocky paths
present protector – always.
Fear has no dominion here.
Into the clamour of threats and uncertainty
he breathes abundance
blessing flowing out from his words like golden oil
healing balm for wounded souls.
These are the footsteps of a shepherd king
pooling with goodness and mercy.
Guiding, guarding and restoring,
he brings us home