I enjoy hiking the wooded trails near the campus where I teach. Due to frequent use by hikers and bikers those trails are well cleared and are mostly easy terrain. However, I have learned I still need to keep my eyes focused on the path just in front of me so that I can avoid obstacles such as tree roots, fallen branches or an occasional unsuspecting snake.
At times I have to remember to slow down in my walk, or maybe even stop, lift my eyes and be reminded why I decided to get my exercise in the woods. That is when I take in the beauty and wonder with which God has blessed us: the magnificence of an old oak, a deer cautiously watching me from a distance, or a bird sharing his morning song from the top of some tree. The fresh perspective propels me to finish my walk and helps sustain me for the rest of the day.
In the above verse, the psalmist seems to be doing the same thing spiritually that I do hiking. He encourages us to lift our spiritual eyes and we will be encouraged. When we slow down and look to God we will be reminded He is our help and our hope. Here are just some of the things I begin to realize when I lift my attention to God and off my immediate circumstances:
He is always with me. (Psalm 46:1)
He is renewing my faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
He is greater than the enemies I face. (I John 4:4)
He is in control of my circumstances and my future. (Psalm 31:15)
He is for me. (Psalm 56:9)
If we are willing to “look up” will realize our view is quiet spectacular and our status is secure.