Saturday, May 9, 2020

Surrounded - Martin Wiles

Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever. Psalm 125:3 NLT

In every direction I turned, I saw them.

Visiting the mountains and hiking in the mountains have been passions of mine for many years. Age and physical limitations won’t let me hike in places I once did, but I still love doing what I can to see the beautiful vistas mountains provide. Surely, these huge mounds of rock have some special place in God’s plan of creation since His Word mentions them so many times.

The Appalachian range running along the North Carolina and Tennessee border is my favorite. I remember when my brother, daughter, and I began at Carver’s Gap, Tennessee, and hiked for two days across mountain balds too beautiful to describe.

Topping Round Bald at 5,826 feet gave us our first glimpse of what we’d never witnessed in person before. No matter what direction we turned, mountains surrounded us. We experienced the same over the next two days of hiking. We sat, we walked, we sweated, and we marveled over what surrounded us. We knew their dangers—we could fall to our deaths or wicked weather could pummel us—but we also witnessed their beauty.

The psalmist looked at the mountains surrounding Jerusalem and compared them to the Lord’s surrounding him. Just as the mountains protected Israel’s capital, so the Lord protected the psalmist and still does all who choose to follow Him.

Circumstances and trials are often out of my control. While I can bring unwanted circumstances through foolish choices, more often they come through no choice of my own. Things are going well, and then suddenly they spiral out of control. A baby is lost, a child drowns, a plane crashes, a hurricane lands, a job vanishes, a parent dies.

Since I have little or no control over circumstances, I must learn to live with them and persevere through them. This I can’t do on my own. God, however, places a wall of protection around His children. Not literal mountains, but His presence. He won’t deliver me from all unwanted trials, but He will guide me through them, giving me a peace that is beyond my understanding. He even delivers the ability to praise Him in times of loss.

Through the abiding presence of God’s Spirit—and the strength and wisdom He provides—we can place one foot in front of the other during the most trying times of life.

God surrounds you and is in you. Depend on Him during your life’s trials.

Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your love and protection to surround us in all of life’s circumstances.

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