I Lift My Eyes

I have come to realise that God often speaks to me through songs and hymns. For a long time now I have regularly woken with a song going round in my head. It took a while for me to realise that each song had a lesson for me and so now I’m prompted to stop, write the words down in my journal and think and pray about what God is saying to me. I feel a sense of privilege that God speaks to me in a way that I can understand.

Over the last few days I have found myself sort of singing a song that I only knew the first words for and the tune. It was driving me slightly mad, possibly Colin too, and so this morning when it was there again I thought I’d better do something about it.

Google very quickly found me a whole list of songs with similar words but number three in the list was the right one. There were the words right in front of my eyes and I was struck by the fact that this song is based on Psalm 121.

“I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

In February I spent a week at Cliff College in the small village of Calver near to Castleton in Derbyshire. The view from my room had been of Curber Edge, an inland limestone cliff and an area I know well. On waking up each morning I saw the edge covered in snow, ravens, black against the white fields and the green hedges crowned with white. It was beautiful. Colin came to pick me up on the Friday in more snow and we drove back through magical scenery; a little like Narnia must have been, fields with their deep coats of white and a dark steel grey sky. Fortunately the roads were clear.

Sometime after this a friend who still lives in Derbyshire posted a verse on Facebook as he does every morning but this time it wasn’t a verse that encouraged me , although it should have.

He posted

“I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

I read it and did no more. I found it difficult simply because my friend still lives surrounded by hills and I felt cross that he could say “I lift my eyes to the hills” and I couldn’t. I felt unsettled. I kept looking back. I missed the scenery, the bird life on the moors and the hills which had surrounded my old home.

I was harbouring a sense of dissatisfaction. It was like a scab I kept picking.

Gradually over the last few days, with the first few words of the song in my head I began to realise that I had a choice. I could choose to be happy and thankful that I have a home, a life and a church here and thankful that I had all those years living near the hills or I could stay dissatisfied because Hightown is flat, Crosby is flat and Liverpool is flat.

There is no use in my prayer of “Lord, help me to settle again and to be satisfied,” if I then go back to thinking about what I miss.

And so I have chosen to put the past away. That season is gone.
I looked at the words of the song that is still playing in my head and as I made Welsh Cakes this morning I have sung it over and over as I thanked God for my home and life here, for St Luke’s, for friends here and those friends who are more distant and also for my time in Glossop which has now ended.

God is my strength and stay no matter where I might be. I am kept in my father’s care forever and He will keep me to the end of my days.

A Hymn based on Psalm 121

I lift my eyes
to the quiet hills
in the press of a busy day;
as green hills stand
in a dusty land
so God is my strength and stay.

I lift my eyes
to the quiet hills
to a calm that is mine to share;
secure and still
in the Father’s will
and kept by the Father’s care.

I lift my eyes
to the quiet hills
with a prayer as I turn to sleep;
by day, by night,
through the dark and light
my Shepherd will guard his sheep.

I lift my eyes
to the quiet hills
and my heart to the Father’s throne;
in all my ways
to the end of days
the Lord will preserve his own.

Jane












and my heart to the Father’s throne;
in all my ways
to the end of days
the Lord will preserve his own.
Jane