Today, one of the healthiest steps an individual can do for their mental and spiritual well being is to turn off the mass amounts of media flooding society. There is no doubt, we as a global society are facing never seen before disruptions and concern, but if one is not careful, the very stress of such times may erode their health (spiritually and mentally) quicker than any other thing.
A couple of days ago, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation over the new measures of social distancing and self-isolation, there was a feeling of anxiety and stress within my heart. After all, the leader of the country just advised that temporary measures will last even longer than one first thought. As I was thinking of the many things needed to get done, the church, congregational needs, community needs – I started to have some doubts. During this time, I stopped and looked out the window. What I saw was a peaceful reminder and display of God’s grace.
What was it? It was a squirrel. As I watched the little guy run around, collecting his nuts and flicking his tail, I was overwhelmed with peace. Then I saw two more squirrels, and it appeared as if they were playing tag. It was then that my ears were tuned into the song of a robin perched on a branch—accompanied by the melody of some cardinals and mourning doves. You see, nature was calling out, and it was indeed glorifying God.
I started to reflect on how God creates us; formed by God, in the image of God, to have dominion over the animals and creation (See Psalm 8). Yet, in this time of uncertainty, many (including myself) have become so stressed that we fail to live and trust God as these little creatures do. They have no concern over tomorrow; they are not “freaked out” with overwhelming fear – no, they are living and glorifying God. Why am I sharing this? Let’s look at Psalm 121:1–2:
I lift up my eyes to the hills.Psalm 121:1–2
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth. (ESV)
Now, for us, when we lift our eyes, we lift them up in prayer, and we look to the skies. For the Psalmist, there is a reminder when one enters Jerusalem; they would lift their eyes to the hills of the city. It is here, God promised his blessing of life forevermore (Psalm 133:3). Then they would reflect “where does my help come from?” – the answer is clear – from the Lord. The maker of heaven and earth. There is great comfort in this truth. For Christians, we recall the ascension of Christ. We remember his promise of his return, and so we can look at this Psalm and reflect as we lift our eyes to the heavens, where Christ is seated, we call upon Him for our help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) In short, we too like the rest of God’s creation, can live and trust him like those creatures I mentioned because our help comes from God the maker of heaven and earth.
We can raise our voice in song, to the praise of his name, even when everything seems chaotic. We can rest knowing we have food and other needs to take care of us (Matthew 6:25-34), and “even if” it is over video or phone, take joy in our fellowship with one another. See, one clear thing here, we can look at the stars, mountains, lakes, flowers, wildlife and see, they continue forward, they live and give glory to their Creator (YHWH) regardless of what the current societal concern is – let us then be people of prayer and praise in all times as well.
In closing, years ago, I learned to appreciate the heart and cry in the song, All creation Calls by Brian Doerksen. I have attached the video to that song here. I pray it blesses you as you reflect on where “our help comes from” but also on how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”(Psalm 139:14)
Blessings on your week,