Perhaps you’re wondering where God is these days. In the community of Kalamazoo we’ve experienced the recent killing and wounding of innocent people. Nationally, we hear frightening political rhetoric. Many of us have concerns for ourselves and our loved ones.
The psalmist acknowledges a need for help. The writer uses “help” twice in two short verses, drawing our attention to it and telling us Who will provide it. The rest of the psalm describes the many ways our Creator “keeps” us in safety and compassion, giving us a refuge from whatever the world and we ourselves do. This word “keep” doesn’t define a possession; it illustrates how one cares for the beloved, getting the person what he or she needs. In this case, God watches over us without distraction, gives us courage and strength, moves with us wherever we travel and brings us rest.
Human beings want life to make sense, so we can understand it. We think if we can explain life’s events, we can control them. This is an illusion. Sometimes the things we experience aren’t rational. Individuals’ actions are hurtful and inexplicable. Decisions made by leaders in governments, corporations and our workplaces sometimes don’t make sense. This can cause us to feel sad, exhausted or hopeless. Re-reading Psalm 121 reminds us that God is our help and “keeps” us in love and grace. God grants us refuge from all that tries to overwhelm us.
From where will our help come? Our help comes from God, the One who always “keeps” us.
Rev. Mary Beth Sarhatt is a chaplain with Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.