Recently, I was getting in my daily exercise, which includes a two-mile walk, off the beaten path down a field road, along a drainage ditch, over a bridge, and back again. I thoroughly enjoy these daily walks, especially when the weather gets warmer. I love taking in all the signs of new life and growth around me, except for garter snakes. I had run into one a few days prior, and it left me screaming and high-stepping my way past it for several yards! Since then, I had been much more cautious where I stepped, my gaze laser-fixed on the ground before me, watching out for potential “hazards.”
My eyes were locked on the path before me on this particular day. I am unsure what I would do differently if I saw a snake again. At best, my reaction likely would have been the same — scream and run. But while I walked, the Spirit of God impressed a thought upon my heart. Why was I so focused on what was directly in front of me? Of course, there would be the potential for snakes in my path, but I was not in danger. I was becoming so focused on my fear of snakes that I was starting to miss the beauty around me.
Right then, Psalm 121 ran through my mind. “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.” So from then on, I decided to lift my eyes and soak in the beauty around me rather than keep my gaze downcast, looking for what I deemed dangerous.
Then, shortly ahead of me, I encountered one of the most beautiful early spring sights I had ever seen. Of all the vegetation along my path, one tree had begun to bloom. And as I grew closer, I could see it was teeming with life! The hum of flying insects of all sorts was audible as thousands of them gathered around the same tree. It was magnificent!
What a gentle and bold reminder from the Lord. When the circumstances of life cause us to fix our gaze on the worries and fears we have no control over, we often miss the beauty and life around us! The Lord calls us, through the Psalms, to fix our gaze upon Him! Lift your eyes to the hills! Our help comes from the Lord!
Helen H. Lemmel penned it beautifully in her hymn, “The Heavenly Vision,” when she wrote, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Friends, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith. No matter our circumstances, our help comes from the Lord!
— Written by Whitney Nesse of Foundation Church. Foundation Church meets 9:30 a.m. Sundays at Hutchinson Middle School.