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I Lift My Eyes Up

I am what my mountain-dwelling friends refer to as a “flat-lander” – I live in the prairies, with terrain as flat as a freshly pressed cotton shirt.  But every summer, when the sweet clover hangs thick in the sun-kissed air and the fields of canola turn bright saffron, I pack up my boots and bike to heed the call of the mountains.  It’s a call I cannot ignore.  I hear it whisper when the purple crocus first pokes its head through the melting snow.  It grows louder and more insistent with each advance of spring.  By the time the children are released for vacation, the twinge of longing has intensified into a persistent ache.  I don’t know when the mountains first gripped me, but they have staked their claim on my heart like a “sold” sign on the front lawn of a house.                

On the appointed day, we direct our vehicle westward.  A couple of hours into our journey, shoots of Rockies begin to pierce the horizon.  They grow to staggering heights.  Reunited, my old friends surround and embrace me – and compel me to look up.  I think that’s the reason I love them.  Mountains beckon me to gaze skywards, and somehow, that helps put everything in perspective.  In the clear air, I brush aside the sticky cobwebs of complexity to consider the simple, most profound truths of life.  The majesty of the mountains leads me to consider “the Majesty” – the Maker – of the mountains.  And I am filled with wonder and awe.

When he was a shepherd, King David – the writer of psalms – made a habit of lifting his eyes up to the mountains.  David found that gazing upward put things into perspective.  It helped clarify matters in his mind.  He said,

I lift my up my eyes to the mountains, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

The grandeur of the mountains led David to contemplate the Maker of the mountains and the help David could anticipate to receive from Him.  The Hebrew word for “made” (ma΄ăśeh) refers to a deed or work.  When used of God, the word emphasizes God’s personal involvement in the act of creating.  It stresses one of the most basic theological concepts about God.  In relationship to his creation, God is both transcendent and immanent.  Those are big words, but they are important ideas to understand.  The transcendence of God means that He is over, above, and beyond (separate from) his creation.  Quite simply, it means, “He is bigger than me, and way beyond my reach.”  The immanence of God indicates that He is “with” or “alongside” his creation.  He participates – on an on-going basis – in the course of history and in people’s lives.  Immanence means that: “God is very near.  He is interested and involved in my life.  He cares for me.”   

The concepts of God’s transcendence (He’s bigger than me) and immanence (He cares for me) go together like lightening and thunder.  David saw the connection clearly.  He knew that the God who had the power to make the mountains also had the power – and the interest – to help him in his personal circumstances.

One day last week, as Brent and I were biking in the mountains, I was contemplating a challenging situation facing our family.  As I looked up at a towering peak, I was reminded that the same Power that created the mighty mountain would work on my behalf if I would only lift my eyes up to Him. He is bigger and more powerful than any mountain of rock or mountain of trouble.

Are you facing a mountain of trouble in your life? You may not be in eyesight of a majestic Rocky Mountain Peak, but you can still look up and beyond to the place where your help comes from – the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

© Mary A. Kassian

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About The Author

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian, the founder of Girls Gone Wise, is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and distinguished professor of Women's Studies at Southern Baptist Seminary.

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