I lift my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? Psalm 121:1
This psalm was originally a song sung by Jewish pilgrims as they walked towards Jerusalem each year for the celebration of their holy days. In these incredibly challenging times I think it's very reassuring to know that our 'help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth'.
In the second week of March I spent a few relaxing days on retreat at the Harnhill Christian Healing Centre in Gloucestershire. On the window sill in my room was a bible left open at the page showing Psalm 121. Halfway through the retreat on 11th March, the World Health Organisation officially announced COVID-19 as a pandemic. Although I was to some extent cocooned within a small disparate group of Christians, at that point I think we all began to realise the true seriousness of the situation. The retreat ended with a Healing Eucharist which was open to the general public to attend. By this time the Church of England had decreed that physical sharing of The Peace was not permitted and communicants could only receive the bread.
Afterwards l was taken to the station with a young freelance classical violinist who had been on the retreat. We sat in the station garden waiting for our train home and talking about what we'd be doing the following week. Little did we know exactly how restricted our lives would become. I've been particularly encouraged by verses 3: 'He will not let your foot slip.....' & 5:'The Lord will keep you from all harm'.....in this Psalm.
It's not always easy to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus when life is difficult. We need to learn to trust him by remembering when he has helped us in the past and believing that he will do so again if we ask him. Out of Jesus great love for us he's always interested in every part of our life, however insignificant we may think it is.
I've been listening to the song: 'Faithful One so Unchanging'. It has brought me comfort as although my life has changed God hasn't - he's still here loving and caring for me as before. He's my 'Rock of Peace'.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you love us so much that you were prepared to die for us on the cross so that our sins will be forgiven and we'll have the chance of eternal life. When we feel overwhelmed or frightened by life help us to remember that, one of your many promises to us is: 'Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age' (Matt. 28:20). May we experience the healing power of your resurrection in our lives today and always. Amen.
For Christian retreat centres & other Christian organisations that have had to close during this time. May they have the resources to re-open when it's safe to do so.