The Vine - Fasting

My four-year-old daughter loves to climb rocks. Near where we live there are is a large rock formation on the edge of a park she likes to play in. Each time we take her to the park she will quickly get bored with the traditional children’s playground and, without so much as a glance in our direction, wander over to the rocks to begin her brave adventures. Without a care in the world she will scale the rocks like a seasoned veteran, and laugh in delight as she stares down at us from heights not suitable to young teenagers, let alone little kids. Most of the time I will be standing nearby, nervously telling her she has climbed high enough, and hoping I don’t have to rescue her. On one occasion the inevitable happened and she got stuck. Being the big man I am, I looked around for someone else who could help, realized I was alone, and reluctantly clambered up after her. I remember the look on her face when I reached her. I was her hero. She looked at me like there was no one else in the world; her expression was at one and the same time, complete relief and complete love. She had never looked more beautiful.

The writer of Psalm 121 longs to be rescued. The psalm was written while Israel was in exile, the remnant of God’s people held in captivity in Babylon. Torn from their home in Jerusalem, the artisans of Israel gathered together and looked longingly towards the mountain ranges that would lead them back home. He lifts his eyes off of the reality of his current situation in captivity and looks towards hope. He makes assertions about God’s character, ones that were important his people remembered. Despite their current situation, God was always their deliverer. He was always the one who watched over them and protected them. He never sleeps or slumbers or is caught off guard – God is an ever-present help. As the psalmist exclaims these truths, God’s people are comforted and renewed.

Your future is going to be great. I know this not because I know what is going to happen to you, but because I know that regardless of what circumstances might transpire, God will be with you. He is your shade at your right hand. He will not leave you or forsake you. He does not sleep or slumber. He is your constant, dependable, ever-present source of help. And when you realize this and place your trust in him, you never look more beautiful.

Take a moment today to reflect on God’s goodness to you. When in your life have you experienced his deliverance, his care, his help? Write down a list of these encounters, and then take some time to be grateful for them.

Father, I lift up my eyes right now from the circumstances of my life and consciously look to you for your help, your love and your deliverance. You are my strength. Thank you for being an ever-present help. Amen.