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  • Writer's pictureFirst Congregational Church Winter Park


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. – Psalm 121:1-2

Psalm 121, “The Traveler’s Psalm,” was a popular one for pilgrims to say or sing with one another as they went to Jerusalem for celebrations. It is said that, perhaps, the first two verses were recited in order to give extra motivation for the final climb up the hilly region outside the city in order to finish the journey: “God’s gonna get me up that final hill!”

When we lived in New England growing up, we hiked in the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont quite often. Those hikes weren’t always easy, and one of them always sticks out in my mind:

We were climbing up some rocks in New Hampshire and my Dad got stuck. He couldn’t find anywhere to place his hands or his feet and he was visibly shaken. I had to grab the branch of a pine tree, get myself out to where he was and place my foot near him as a foothold so he could start to make his way back. I don’t recall that we climbed any more rocks after that little adventure.

When we find ourselves stuck out on the proverbial rock faces of life, sometimes we can feel like we’re truly unable to get anywhere; nowhere to find an anchor or able to move. In those moments, perhaps we need someone to find a branch and get out to where we are and help us get back to safety.

We don’t need to let our own pride or ego get in the way of allowing others to reach out and help us where we’re stuck. If we just lift up our eyes when we’re in life’s tough spaces, we might find that what we need is right there for us if we’re open to receiving it.


God Who Helps Us, thank you for seeking us out when we’re in difficult moments and offering us the help we need. Give us eyes to see it and spirits to receive it.


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