I lift up my eyes to the hills…

This month, we hear from our curate, Jenny:

Hallelujah! This year we can certainly say we’ve had a summer… a summer that’s lasted more than 45 minutes one Tuesday afternoon, I mean! Whatever you’ve been up to and whether you’ve enjoyed or endured the weather, I hope you’ve had a blessed summer and feel refreshed.

I recently spent a weekend in the Scottish Highlands. I had braced myself for being tormented by midges but was relieved to find that they had already had their fill of summer banqueting and were nowhere to be seen! What I had not anticipated was being able to look out of a window across the loch to the hills beyond and see multiple different scenes within one day without having to move a muscle.

The sun, when granted access, could make the loch sparkle. The hillside would have several costume changes within one day from green to grey then mauve and blue. The clouds would gently mould the horizon into different shapes as they descended and glided across. I would open the curtains each morning wondering which variation of the scene I would be greeted with that day.

The landscape would of course be stable, but the access and movement of the light would make it appear to change, like one of nature’s optical illusions.

It made me think about how our perspective on a particular situation in day-to-day life can change, depending on how we’re feeling or what we’re believing. The circumstances, the landscape, may remain unchanged but fears may draw in the horizon or joy lighten the colour of the obstacle.

I am naturally reminded of the beautiful psalm of assurance of God’s protection, Psalm 121, which begins with the well-known words:

I lift up my eyes to the hills —
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth

It’s a short and beautiful psalm worth taking a moment to read in full.

It is a song of confidence in God’s providential care, His constant care for us, His children, through all of life in every circumstance, both day and night. That means, whatever the scene ahead of us looks like – light or dark, we can rest assured in the unchanging truth of God’s constant care.

As we transition from summer to autumn, from school holiday to term time, the change in scene may seem a reassuring relief for some, as routines and structure return, whilst for others it may feel unsettling as they embrace the new and unknown.

However we may be feeling as September unfolds, let’s remember where our help comes from and be assured of God’s care in every circumstance.

Every blessing, Jenny

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