‘I lift up my eyes to the hills:
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth’ (Psalm 121)
For nearly 30 years, I’ve referred to this as my Driving Test Psalm. It was the set reading on the morning of my 4th attempt to get my full driving licence and it seemed to speak directly to that event:
- Not letting my foot slip (on clutch or brake)
- Preserving my coming in and going out (of gears and junctions)
- Being the shade on my right hand (as if sat behind me all through the test)
Now I seriously didn’t take this as some miraculous promise that I would pass this time round but it did calm my nerves to know that I wouldn’t be on my own in the car with the examiner. And that did have a beneficial effect on how I drove that day. So I was extremely pleased later on to make the one call I ever made to his work, to tell my dad that I’d finally passed.
The timing was spot on. I believe God had been busy in the meantime, preparing others so that it was just the right time for our family that I gained this skill.
But I don’t believe God’s help is some kind of magic formula for success. His help is of the coming alongside type, the encouragement to keep going, the knowledge that we are not alone. I run various groups at work to help patients manage their symptoms better and, no matter what education and techniques I can pass on, the most regular positive feedback is from meeting others going through the same thing, who know what it’s like, and relieve the sense of loneliness.
And this is the help God promises. He knows what we’re going through is like and he will be our constant companion urging us on. Knowing we’re not alone – isn’t that the help most of us want?