I love traveling. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I grew up on a tour bus. I visited 25 of our 50 states before I was 12. That being said, Psalm 121 really resonated with me because it’s affectionally known as “The Traveler’s Psalm.” Imagine this Psalm being read in the 1st century to a group of people about to embark on a journey. Back when you would travel for months, not certain that you would ever actually reach your destination.
The first two verses are written as an opening question and then a confession by the speaker.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, maker heaven and earth.
A Jewish commentary I read about this Psalm pointed out that the word “maker” is not translated from the word “creator” but actually the word “sustainer.” I love that. Not just the creator, but the sustainer of heaven and earth. The speaker is declaring her confidence in her creator and sustainer. The speaker then goes on to bless and charge the group that is being sent off.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on 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 forth and forevermore.
The image of God as our guide through life resonates with me to the core. We don’t know where we’re going, but we always get there. It may not be where we thought we were going, or even where we wanted to go, but God gets us there. And I do have a hope that God will guide us all back to God-self, back to home.
This picture was my background for a few years. It captures the essence of my wanderlust in a simple painting. That road is full of hope, heartbreak, pain, loss, joy, new experiences, boredom, and everything in between. But I know that at the end of it is my creator and sustainer waiting for me in all glory.