Note: Reading "The Courage to Handle Your Emotions"  may help you to understand this article more fully. 

Lift Up Your Eyes 
By Becky Rule 

A few weeks ago while writing "The Courage To Handle Your Emotions," I was struck with how little time I have recently spent sitting by the "emotional riverbank." Previously it seemed that I had spent entire days there, while now I rarely thought about visiting it at all. Caught by surprise, I found the change curious and unsettling. God had powerfully used the illustration in my life. I wondered what had changed, and why it had changed. The exhausting barrage of doubts and questions began immediately. If this was no longer real to me, why did He want me to share it with others? Would I mislead people? Was the whole concept less effective than I thought? Was what He had shown me no longer valid?

In the midst of all the questions, I knew He was telling me to share my experience with others. Ignoring the underlying uncertainty, I put the questions aside. Later that day, God and I visited while I washed dishes. Laying all my questions before Him, I asked for His perspective. His response was, Lift up your eyes. As long as you are watching the river, your focus is still on you and what you feel. I am teaching you to allow yourself to feel while looking beyond the emotions to Me. Psalm 121 immediately came to mind. I later looked up that particular Psalm, and in the process found other songs of ascent with the same message. The verses from Psalm 124 were particularly amazing to me in this context.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2

To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! Psalm 123:1

Had it not been the LORD who was on our side… Then the waters would have engulfed us, The stream would have swept over our soul; Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul… Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:1, 3-5, 8

Those who trust in the LORD Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever. Psalm 125:1,2

There are times to sit on the riverbank, but I am thankful that we have Someone to focus on who is greater than the river of our emotions. We are invited to lift our eyes to the hills no matter what we feel, to the One who always watches over us and neither slumbers nor sleeps. Surrounded by Him, we can trust that He will lead us in the way we should go.

Next time, I will share how God answered my remaining questions. For now, may the eyes of our hearts be lifted up! "Peace be within you." (Psalm 122:8)


Copyright © 2001-2008 
Living Covenant Ministries International