On my journey I shall be guided by the hand of God - 7 September 2018

Ewald Schmidt

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.” Psalm 123:1-2

When you embark on a long pilgrimage, your heart will come to understand this pilgrim’s song so well. In the long days where you are exposed to the elements, with the wind blowing and the sun shining down upon you, your eyes will increasingly start looking upwards for help. A pilgrimage tends to humble you. You will discover that your own strength only endures so far. The reason why people feel the need to go walking on a route of pilgrimage is usually the desire to return to the foundation, the core of life. We need to be confronted by our own mortality, our frailty, and by our inability to cope with every problem we experience. When one is honest in one’s quest to find more, to understand one’s life, one will find answers when embarking on a long walk, seeking God.

For the believer there is a huge sense of freedom when we discover that we were created to belong to God. God gets his rightful place in our lives in this pilgrim’s song, when we discover that God is so much more mighty and powerful than we are. Individually, I was created to lift my eyes up to him, enthroned in heaven from where he rules over his creation, including me. I recognise his authority over my life when I sing this song. When he is Lord of my life, I want to give control of every part of my existence over to him, so that he may rule, and recreate me according to his will. This is where the image of a slave, looking to the hand of his master, is so fitting. In ancient times, a slave belonged to his master. The slave’s whole existence was focused on doing his master’s bidding. With this pilgrim’s song, the traveller on a spiritual journey proclaimed that he belonged to God. He stated that his desire was to follow in obedience where God may lead the way. This journey is not easy, for there is the constant humiliation of the proud and the arrogant along the way. But the pilgrim chooses to focus on the Lord’s mercy, guiding his children along the Way.

While we are walking our daily path with him, this psalm asks us to focus our eyes on the hand of God. It requires obedience, dependence on God and humility. On this path we will find rest and inner peace when we find the mercy of the Lord ruling over us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, this journey of life is sometimes so difficult for me. So often I feel ashamed when I have followed my own ways, and got into trouble through my own choices, instead of trusting you. Lord, so often I stare at the problems in my life without hope. Please help me to see your hand of mercy reaching out to me. I belong to you alone, please guide me to where you want me to be. Amen.

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