Psalm 121 (CJB)
121 (0) A song of ascents:
(1) If I raise my eyes to the hills,
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from Adonai,
the maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip —
your guardian is not asleep.
4 No, the guardian of Isra’el
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 Adonai is your guardian; at your right hand
Adonai provides you with shade —
6 the sun can’t strike you during the day
or even the moon at night.
7 Adonai will guard you against all harm;
he will guard your life.
8 Adonai will guard your coming and going
from now on and forever.
The past months as I have journeyed into the world of restoration housing for women coming out of sex trafficking and left "base camp" to make the climb with a newly forming team and the clients coming to us for support it has been hard work. In recent weeks I felt like our team had reached it's first pinnacle: communication in place, a client well served moving on and a new client added to the home. One night as I went to bed it was as if I looked up to see where we had come from but caught a glimpse of the mountain range ahead. [Unending need, unending work, limited time, limited workers, sensing a coming storm]
It was an overwhelming moment, knowing and understanding the lose and sacrifice that had come to this point and the hard work and time it would take to keep going. Each client, each team member takes an investment and a piece of me and sometimes counting the cost it can seem too high a price. The truth is however, that I love mountain climbing. My husband reminded me of that and that is partly why I do what I do. It is not a marathon, it is not a race, it is not a sprint...it is a journey that takes you on ascents and descents, that you need others to accomplish especially when your journey is equivalent to hiking the Appalachian trail or Pacific Northwest...trails I have dreamed of facing.
There is a preparation stage...what to pack, what to wear, marking the trail and the stops, adjusting for the needs of those you are traveling with...times you stay longer in camp, times you extend your days hike. You do not often see how far you are going or realize how far you have come. You take one day, one step at a time. You gain strength on the journey and wise hikers start in the low hills before getting to the more steep ascents that require extra equipment, extra muscle and the adjustment to the environment. This is my life...this is each day walking with those the Lord has sent us to serve and with those serving with me.
There are those moments when you look out and you catch a glimpse of the next mountain and perhaps those with you are far enough behind or ahead it feels like you are alone, but always, in all moments Adonai is with you. His promises are definitive and eternal. He provides and proves a willing and able guide. He is the expert mountaineer and He will guard your coming and going from now on and forever.
May you lift your eyes and see the Lord! May your courage not fail as you catch a glimpse of the mountain ahead!
May you know the promises of the Lord's protection and move forward with new resolve!