To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud. Psalm 123:1-4
I looked up to my dad in many ways. He was an excellent example in areas like service, humility, work ethic and (yes), mechanical ability. I really looked up to him for practical things in life. But, even with the immense capability dad had, there’s one area where even he couldn’t address: spiritual. Dad was a very spiritual man, but here there’s only one to look to: Jesus.
Our world is full of activities, possessions, and people that crowd and cloud our Christ-visibility. I know every day brings renewed opportunities to look away from Christ and onto my own abilities. I catch myself saying, “What am I going to do about this?” This is what’s referred to as ‘starting off on the wrong foot.’ I should literally or figuratively lift my eyes to Jesus and ask his guidance and mercy. It seems had I done this many times in my past, so much pain and anguish could have been avoided.
This is easy to say, but it can be hard to do. I had a great friend ask me the question, “What does it mean to give something to the Lord? Do I quit worrying about it?” Wow. While that question seems easy to answer, it really isn’t. There’s still an element of responsibility to work through whatever it might be. The Lord can provide an answer, but in the midst, we’ll certainly be learning life lessons.
I’m not unique, this can’t have happened only to me. There are going to be times where we forget to look to Jesus, but the loving kindness of the Lord is always present and it’s never too late. Remember, like many things in life, the longer the waiting, the steeper and more difficult the journey.
Perhaps as a reminder of where our gaze should be directed, using the Lectio Divina practice similar to yesterday, read Psalm 123:1-4 again, several times. As you read, remember aspects and portions of the passage that speak to you. After reading the passages several times, quietly contemplate it, perhaps considering times where your gaze was at your own hands rather than the face of Jesus. Try to seat this process in your heart so your first intuition is gazing at Jesus and not yourself. When the ‘self-healing’ thoughts come along once again, reflect on this heart-tied activity and gaze on your Savior! His mercy is everlasting (Psalm 105:5, KJV)!
By Rich Obrecht