The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, June 29, 2023, was written by Lisa Stackpole of Wisconsin USA
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
Psalm 121:1-8 NRSV
GOD'S CONSTANT WATCH
As a child, I was sometimes plagued by vivid nightmares. Once when I was eight or nine, I awoke terrified though, I could not remember what had frightened me. It was still fairly early in the evening, but I had been asleep for some time and was quite disoriented. I stumbled to my bedroom door. When I opened it, I could see down the hall into our living room. My father was still awake, sitting quietly in his chair reading the newspaper.
Even now, decades later, I remember the feeling of peace that came over me seeing my father there. He didn't notice me, but his presence reminded me of the many times he had protected and calmed me in the past. Based on this history of faithfulness and love, I knew that I was safe. I quietly went back to bed and quickly fell asleep.
When I think back on that moment, it reminds me that our God never sleeps. God is always aware of us. God knows our needs and stands ready to come to our aid. We are never far from God. That is truly a reason to be at peace.
Each of us has experienced a moment when we needed the assurance and encouragement of our mother’s or father’s. Lisa’s reflection reminds us to pause when we find ourselves in unfamiliar and uncomfortable spaces, so that we might discern the presence of God where we are. God is always near to us, offering us guidance, hope, and peace. As Lisa states: “God knows our needs and stands ready to come to our aid. We are never far from God. That is truly a reason to be at peace.”
Ever-vigilant God, thank you for your constant care and protection. In times of trouble, help us to remember your faithfulness. Amen.