It had been such a rough day. My eyes hurt from crying tears of frustration, and I was tired. Our family stayed up late watching an old movie, because after the day it had been, I knew we needed some snuggles on the couch and some good laughs.
Tucking in my older two boys that night, one of them started flipping through the calendar on the wall. It’s a calendar from a Christian day camp they attend each summer with drawings by multiple kids. My son was pointing out the upcoming birthdays he had scribbled in pen in the little boxes. As he flipped to June, my eyes caught site of a lovely flowered vine in the shape of circle on top of a beautiful sky-blue background. And there it was in the center, one of my favorites:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” —Psalm 121:1-2, NIV
“Of course,” I whispered with an audible sigh. Both boys turned to me, and I pointed it out and read it aloud.
We are in the midst of some trying times. I guess we always are, but lately the anxiety I have felt has heightened, and personally, that amounts to a racing mind and little sleep.
The fears of this worldwide virus are palpable. On this particular long day, our sons’ schools were canceled for the weeks, perhaps the months, following spring break based on these fears. Due to their prolonged presence at home, I was pulled from some projects for work, which hurt my pride, and I knew, would hurt our income. It had escalated quickly, and it was too much for me.
Back on my boys’ bed, I told them how I sometimes forget who is helping me. On this day, my anger, my frustration, and my emotions, which were conveyed at times with tears and a bit of yelling, are all part of being human. “But,” I continued, “I forgot one important action. To look up.”
Together, we read the remaining verses of Psalm 121.
“He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” —Psalm 121: 3-8, NIV
This God of ours, I said to my boys and to my own heart, is watching over us without rest. He stays awake, so we may rest peacefully. He stays awake, so we may feel protected. He stays awake, so we may rise and seek his guidance in each new day.
Admittedly, this is easy to forget on most days. But as we press forward in our present time, with all the uncertainties around us, I won’t forget to pause and look directly to God, who calms my heart and allows for deep breaths. I will look up, and I will remember to tell my boys to do the same.
Look up. God is awake. He is watching over you. He is watching over us. He is our one true source of help. He is the maker of heaven and earth.
Sarah Staebel says
I happened upon this post by accident when doing a search on my daughter, the artist who created the art for that month of the calendar. It is such a gift to know that the camp she loves and has helped grow her faith continues to be a positive force in little ways. God bless you and your family.
Laura Shaver says
Sarah, I am so glad you found this post. We saved Kat’s picture because it truly is such a beautiful complement to one of my favorite passages in scripture. My older two boys are loving TBarM, as well, and I am hopeful they will be able to return this summer. Thank you for your comment, God bless you all, as well!
Elin Q says
Look down, look back, look around, look out ….all can feel negative or cautionary. Laura, your post helps me to stand straighter and to begin my day with a positive outlook. I look forward to each hour’s discoveries.