The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, July 17, 2023, was written by Elaine M. Brown from Scotland, United Kingdom
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
SAFE WITH GOD
Ever since my teenage years, Psalm 121 has been important to me. At boarding school, it was read to us on the last morning of each term. Verse eight was especially meaningful: "The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in" (NRSV). Because they were associated with the excitement of going home, those words came to have a happy connotation for me.
Psalm 121 was also the psalm my husband and I chose for our wedding service a few years later. Such joyous, reassuring words as we set out into our new life together! God's promise, "The LORD is your keeper," steadied us many times over the years that followed, particularly when we lived in a remote area overseas.
Now I am a senior citizen. My husband and one son have already gone ahead of me to be with the Lord, and I am finding Psalm 121 more valuable than ever. Sometimes a challenge seems too big for me to handle now, but then I hear God's gentle reminder, "I will keep your heart safe," and my anxiety is eased. God has kept me through the years - and always will.
We all endure challenging seasons in our lives, seasons that attempt to syphon our joy and test our faith. In our moments of distress and discomfort, God offers us peace and assurance. Elaine's reflection reminds us of the comfort and assurance she found in Psalm 121, through all her life's ups and downs. Scripture not only offers us insight and knowledge of God, but it also offers us words of encouragement and grace. What scriptures do you turn to when you are going through trials and hardships?
Dear Lord, we entrust ourselves to you. Whatever happens, thank you for keeping us safe in your presence. Amen.
- Elaine M. Brown