Gazing Unto The Hills

Ps. 121:1 — I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. I’ve been reading the Psalms of Ascent and have found them very encouraging.

This is a tremendous verse. There could be any number of settings that this Psalm could fit into. A popular thought is that it was sung on a pilgrim journey to Jerusalem for a festival. That might very well be. But, let’s just think about it in the framework of someone on a hike going from point A to point B.

Have you ever noticed how much you look down, or towards the ground, while taking a hike? In AZ we would sometimes walk a mile long trail right where we lived. I can remember many times constantly looking down at where I was walking so I wouldn’t stumble, slip and fall. I had to actually remind myself to look up and focus on where I was heading.

Now, let’s take that analogy and apply it to the believer’s walk in this life.

We’re on a journey from here to the place Yeshua has gone ahead to prepare for us. At times, this can seem like a long journey — especially when you first start out. And just like that hiker, it seems like we spend a lot of time focusing “down here.” That’s understandable. We have a long journey ahead of us and the trail has a lot in it that can very easily trip us up. So, yes, we’re headed to Heaven but … if we’re too focused on this life it’ll be easy to lose sight of “the “hills.”

I know that, initially, when the three boys and I were climbing our way out of the Grand Canyon we enjoyed the prospects of getting to the top. We were excited and full of energy. Man, we can do this! But as reality started to hit and the hike became a sort of grueling endeavor, it became a one-foot-in-front of the other trek. I noticed we had our heads down a lot and focused on the ground immediately under foot rather than on “the hills.”

Along the ever increasing upward journey I noticed something. As we got closer to the top (and the expectation of arriving at the journey’s end) we started to focus more on “the hills.” Our gaze shifted more-and-more toward the top and the final victory goal. There was only one problem. When we would reach one peak and look up in expectation, we could see that there were more-and-more switchbacks to conquer. Talk about disheartening to find out … NO! that’s not the top. All we could do was keep walking and keep expecting. That’s what eventually got us to the top.

Our journey to Heaven is much like the trek out of the Grand Canyon. We start out full of excitement and anticipation. However, the goal of reaching the summit sometimes gets lost with the step-by-step process along the way. Will it ever end? The way to stay encouraged is by “looking unto Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Where are you in your journey to your Saviour? The best way to continue the trek is to, every now-and-then, look unto the hills — gaze heavenward.

As the old hymn says: “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.” Amen!