Do you ever feel like you are stuck between two equally bad situations and just can’t seem to find a way up and out?
Maybe you’re living like a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth between anxiety and depression, with emotions out of whack and no relief in sight.*
Maybe you’re struggling with addiction and want so badly to get out of the darkness, but life without your particular vice seems impossibly scary.*
Maybe you’re stuck between staying in a job with a terrible boss on one hand, and facing the prospect of quitting & losing your income on the other hand.*
Perhaps you’re in relationship that isn’t good for you, but the thought of living on your own creates its own set of difficulties and troubles.*
Or, maybe you’re generally “okay” but just not “happy” living the life you are in, but you’ve resigned yourself to the belief that “it’s just going to have to be this way”.*
Any of this sounding familiar?
Would it comfort you to know you’re not alone?
Would it comfort you even more to know there’s a way out of your pit?
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26, NIV
As we begin our walk through the Psalms of The Ascent, I am immediately struck by the closing verses of Psalm 120. Listen to this:
How I suffer in far-off Meshech.
It pains me to live in distant Kedar.
I am tired of living
among people who hate peace.
I search for peace;
but when I speak of peace, they want war! Psalm 120:5-7, MSG
Meshech and Kedar were two equally bad places to have to live back when this Psalm was penned. But if we look beyond that for a minute, and we replace the names of those places with our own words of our personal “between a rock and hard places”, we can relate, can’t we?
As in: “I hate that I suffer and feel pain living between the choices of a dead-end job and facing a life with no income. I want it to be different, but every time I try to say that, it just makes matters worse.”
Or: “It is excruciating bouncing around between the turmoil of anxiety and addiction. I want relief and peace more than anything but the more I strive for it, the stronger their strangle holds become.”
You see what I mean? Seems like this journey of ours through these Psalms isn’t starting off so well, right?
But hang on a sec with me here! Just as Hezekiah finishes this lament (which God wants to hear, by the way – He wants to hear it all from you, the good, the bad, AND the ugly), he turns it right around in Psalm 121 and reminds us of where our TRUE help comes from – The Lord!
The Lord is your Protector.
The Lord stands by your side, shading and protecting you.
The sun cannot harm you during the day,
and the moon cannot harm you at night.
The Lord will protect you from every danger.
He will protect your soul.
The Lord will protect you as you come and go,
both now and forever! Psalm 121:5-8, ERV
Yes! He is our protector. He is our strength. Our SONG IN THE NIGHT. As we look to Him to pull us out of the mess we’ve found ourselves in, we find comfort in this Psalm because we hear that when we raise our eyes up as far as the top of the tallest mountains looking for help, we are not met with false gods and crumbling monuments erected by those who never truly believed in a god like ours.
Instead, Psalm 121 reminds us that we are comforted by OUR God. Abba. Our sweet, protective, loving papa.
When you were a child and had a bad dream, in all likelihood you called for your mom or dad to come soothe you, right? And if you called them to you, I can almost be sure that they would come into your room and say something like, “It’s okay. I’ll stay here and watch over you. I’m here now! All is as it should be!” Perhaps you are a parent yourself and you have now become the one being called!
Whether you are the comforter or the one in need of comfort, it’s literally a saving grace to know “…from where your help comes”.
My help comes from the Lord. So does yours. Now and forever more.
I am so glad I’m journeying down this road with you, my beautiful friends. As we will see in Psalm 122, God want us to do this thing called life together! Can’t wait to meet you again here next week!
Have a great week and weekend! Here’s a treasure for you to soak in today – a song based on Psalm 121! “My Help Comes From the Lord” by The Museum, performed live on K-LOVE!
Thank you for “riding shotgun” on this road trip with me. I cannot imagine doing this without YOU!!!
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: Having a Pooh Bear Attitude While Living in an Eeyore World
* I know I have given this piece of advice before, but please know that if you are struggling with something that requires the addition of medical and/or psychological assistance, I encourage you to reach out and get it. If you do not know where to start, please call your primary care physician or, in event of emergency, call 911.