Psalm 121 (NRSV)
Verse 1I lift up my eyes to the hills- from where will my help come?
Verse 2My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Verse 3He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Verse 4He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Verse 5The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
Verse 6The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
Verse 7The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
Verse 8The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
“From where will my help come?” (1b) Here speaks a desperate person at the end of their rope. All solutions have failed—so now what?
I have survived two kidney transplants, thirteen years apart. Before my first surgery, I couldn’t imagine life after surgery, a life hopefully filled with energy and possibilities. All I envisioned was a black wall, which ultimately mirrored my difficult recovery—seventeen days of doctors trying atypical and innovative solutions to save the kidney. Thankfully they prevailed.
This psalm’s opening expression of desperation is followed by seven verses of deep assurance in God as the source of help. As I lay in my hospital bed, with side effects preventing me from doing anything but existing and few visitors allowed, I found I could not plan, analyze, or fix anything, any system, or anyone. My life was fully in God’s hands. My only job was to trust.
Thank you, God of all source and life, for being my guide throughout my life. Help me to always remember my job is to trust you and to be your mirror, letting your light reflect from me into the dark reaches of this world. Amen.