- Michael W. Newman
Are You Forgetting the Hills?
One of my running courses takes me to a vantage point where I can see rolling and beautiful hills in the distance. The vista is breathtaking. After ascending a modest incline and cresting the top of the rise, the view is worth the effort. On sunny days, the light highlights the contours and flora of the faraway landscape. On cloudy days, the rolling terrain fades into the mist. I love this route.
On a recent run, however, I almost missed the hills. So many things were on my mind. As I reached the top of the rise that opens to the view, I forgot about the vista in front of me. My eyes were locked onto the sidewalk as I processed issues and cares. As I put one foot in front of another, breathing hard, sweating, and hashing through my worries, I lost track of the purpose of my run. Seeing the beautiful and soul replenishing view slipped my mind. Then, halfway down the hill, I looked up and beheld the beauty. My mind and heart shifted from depletion mode to replenishment mode. I remembered the hills.
How often do you forget the hills? Beauty is right before your eyes: relationships, family, blessings. But busyness and chaos distract you. You were supposed to be recharging, resting and renewing. But pressure and pain diverted you from your purpose. What causes you to forget the hills? Are you forgetting them right now?
Psalm 121 invites us: “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”
The psalmist may have been thinking about his challenging times of battle and unrest in the valleys. He looked to the hills for hiding places and strong defensive positions provided by God. As you run the race of life, God invites you to look to the hills of His Word and means of grace for protection, provision and peace. Your help comes from the Lord, your Creator who calls your name.
Psalm 121 points to another hill, too. It’s the crucifixion hill that provides your ultimate help. As you traverse paths of worry and care that drain and distract you, the hill of Calvary, Golgotha, presents the breathtaking vista of the Son of God giving His life for you, carrying your chaos, and silencing your sin. It’s a hill not to miss. It’s a view never to be forgotten.
As you move through your days, remember God’s gifts. See the landscape of grace He places before you. Be attentive to the restoration He provides. Look up and see the life-restoring view of the One who gave everything to call you His own forever.