Lift Our Eyes
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains - " that sentence... well, the first five words, really grabs my attention. If you've been around church for any length of time you've certainly come across this passage before. Re-seeing those first five words, "I lift up my eyes," puts fresh spin on the verse for me. "I lift up my eyes," indicates an effort on the behalf of the one in need of help.
Is this surprising to anyone else? Like you, I'm acutely aware of my struggles and shortcomings. Repeatedly I've prayed that God would help, but three times more I've downed donuts, drinks, withdrew socially, or caved into damaging behavior in attempts to self-medicate.
For every once I "lifted my eyes," I've side-eyed a different remedy at least twice.
I didn't trust God enough to keep lifting my eyes to Him. After one shot, I moved on (screw 'three strikes you're out' - I got things to do!). Predictably, the help I turned too wasn't capable of healing, balancing, motivating, and correcting. Most times it was down right destructive, digging me deeper into a pit. Time to lift my eyes again.
Over the past year, the sovereign, perfect nature of God kept emerging in sermons, studies, and books. God was trying to get something through my thick head: Our help comes from Him, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Certainly our problems, wounds, emotional instability, are smaller puzzles than making the world - all seen and unseen. God had to make a space to make space... think about that. There was nothing, not even space to make stars, planets, etc... if He figured out that puzzle, He can sustain, heal, correct, encourage us: Our giant puzzles are small to Him. But have we given Him the proper chance?
Make it Personal
What remedies are you side-eyeing? How have they hurt or helped you?
How do we lift our eyes to God? In the middle of that negative thought pattern, tempted by life-sucking sin, or damaging habit, how can you redirect your eyes and heart?