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On The Road Again

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Willie Nelson’s catchy little ditty is on my mind this morning, as I’ve been meditating on Psalm 121.

All of life’s a journey, isn’t it? And this Beth Moore study has reminded me that for the Christian, all of life’s a pilgrimage. We’re on the road to the heavenly Jerusalem, every bit as much as the pilgrims who sang the Psalms of Ascent were on the road to the real life earthly Jerusalem.

Today’s psalm caused me to stop and consider what it must have been like for them to do their traveling. No interstates. No automobiles, or planes or trains. No air conditioned rest stop buildings, either.

Just you and your sandals, and the dust, and the open air, and the vast landscape before you. And sleeping out under the stars. No protection from the elements. Or from the wild creatures that might be roaming at night. Or from bandits, who might be lying in wait to take any valuables you might be carrying. No emergency services or ambulance if you fall and get banged up on your trip, either. On foot, the hills had to look insurmountable. Really, it had to be quite a daunting thing, to contemplate making such a pilgrimage.

We possess so many modern conveniences that make traveling, for us, so much easier. But if all of life is a journey, don’t we, too, have some daunting obstacles facing us on our pilgrimage?

As I contemplate helping my kids navigate adolescence, I can feel fear climbing up my throat. I have watched my friends struggling up their own mountains with their own kids, and I have watched some friends walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and I tell you, this pilgrimage is not for the faint of heart.

And so, in light of all of these burdens that my heart is carrying, for people I love so very much, I have penned my own version of Psalm 121.

Here’s the original version, from the NIV:

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm,
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Perfection! Needs no refinement!

Nevertheless, Beth Moore made me do it. My assignment was to personalize it, and rewrite it for myself. So here’s my version, such as it is:

I raise my eyes toward the obstacles and challenges that lie ahead,
and I wonder –
where will my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He won’t allow me to fall off the path
he has set for me.

My Protector won’t accidentally doze off.
The One who protects His people
doesn’t need a nap, or a good night’s sleep.

The One with Whom I am in covenant protects me.
My Covenant Maker is a shelter right beside me.
My soul won’t be harmed by day or by night.

My Keeper will protect me from all harm –
He will protect my very life.

Yahweh will protect me on my journey
as I start out, and as I end it,
both now and forevermore.

And if I can trust him with my life, I must assume that He is every bit as much the Protector and Keeper of my children’s souls as well. I am most certainly unequipped to handle that task. But He is the Trustworthy One. And He will be faithful to complete the good work He began in them.

I’m banking on it.


Friday 30th of January 2009

LOVE your rewrite - nicely done.Your post is very thoughtful and inspiring! HUGS!!!

Kristy (kplata on Sonlight Forum!)

Thursday 29th of January 2009

I really like the idea of writing the Psalm again and making it very personal. I think there are a lot of scriptures that would really come to life if I did that! Kristy


Thursday 29th of January 2009

Good perspective on raising teens. I am right in the middle of it, so I can completely relate. I need to pray this Psalm daily!



Thursday 29th of January 2009

I LOVE that Psalm, Sooz! Thank you for the reminder!

I was trying to find an online version of one of my favorite musical renditions of Psalm 121 (Susan Ashton), but I can't find it. There are a lot of artists who've done their interpretation of it though! Here's my fave:


Thursday 29th of January 2009

I need to remember this for the future. My ds is almost a teenager and I need to rest in God's promises.