March 16, 2011

March 16: When I slip down the hill

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By Emily Yoder, a junior nursing major from Bird-in-Hand, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 121 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
In elementary school, I memorized Psalm 121 in our girls club at church. I still remember the motions that we made to this passage, especially verses 3-4, which say that God will not let your foot be moved, and that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. While doing these motions as a child, sliding my foot and pretending to fall, I always pictured myself slipping down a muddy hill, but God protecting me from the fall. God is my Creator, my Maker, and he wants to protect me and keep me safe, because he cares about me. My Creator will not strike me down, but watches over me always. The Lord is my Keeper, and when I lift my eyes up to him, I can seek and receive help.

In hard times, when I slip down the muddy hill and need to look up “to the hills” for help, I can easily see my own human vulnerability and humility. But in reality, I need God’s help all of the time – especially in the good times of life, and when I’m feeling like I can do everything on my own. God has declared himself as my Protector, and he will always help me, because he loves me.

The Lord is our Keeper, our Guardian, and these verses serve not only as a comfort and assurance, but as a challenge for us to make ourselves vulnerable to him in order to experience the crazy wonderful love that he has for us.

SCRIPTURE:Psalm 121 (NRSV)
1I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? 2My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

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Comments (10)

  1. I just wnat to say thank you for this word this morning. I had a challenging day yesterday. These words were very encouraging today. Blessings!! Sandy

    Sandy Stuckey March 16, 2011 |
  2. Thanks Emily! What a great way to start my day! Many blessings to you always!

    Vicky Kirkton March 16, 2011 |
  3. What an encouraging truth! I like the reminder that it’s not just the messy, sliding around times that we need God’s help, but even in the good times we need to stay dependent on his grace and crazy love. Thank you, Emily!

    Ruth March 16, 2011 |
  4. I was encouraged when you said that you rememered this from childhood. Many times in teaching Sunday School and trying to make things both interesting and a true Biblical teaching experience for children one wonders do they really remember? Do they get it?? Will this help them at some time in their life as they grow and mature? Thank you for this insight.

    Betty March 16, 2011 |
  5. I too was challenged to focus on the spiritual for our boys and girls clubs. So often, we try to out entertain the other opportunities that the kids have. We need to continue to look to the hills for our strength. Thank you.

    keith March 16, 2011 |
  6. i am enjoyingfor the third year the goshen daily devotions
    emily i have been to your home town a deeply amish community
    mitchell
    arlington,texas
    retired

    mitchell jones March 16, 2011 |
  7. Thanks, Emily for your words of hope based on Psalm 121. I am especially encouraged by the impact the scripture had on you as a result of girls’ club. That you remember it this many years later is a testimony for the value of such ministries. Blessings to you as you live out this scripture!

    Kathy Keener Shantz March 16, 2011 |
  8. Thank you Emily for sharing. God’s using your words to remind me of some lessons I too often forget.

    Kassidy March 16, 2011 |
  9. Thank You Emily for lifting me up or should I say reminding me to “look UP” The hills were a lil muddy today starting out but after reading this I feel like singing in the rain..Hmmm”because He Lives” sounds very good right about now…..PRiscilla

    Priscilla March 16, 2011 |
  10. I am reading your encouraging words here on our farm in Bird-in-Hand where the hill that leads down to the Millstream is muddy and slick. Thanks for reminding me that God is there when I struggle up the slippery hill and also when I roll down the hill through the soft grass in favorable dry weather.

    –Myrna Smucker

    Myrna Hershberger Smucker March 16, 2011 |