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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Be refreshed

I lift my eyes to the hills, the psalmist writes. Looking up at the hills or the mountains changes my perspective. The tendency is to look down, to focus in on my own footsteps through each day, and these become all important and all consuming. When I look up, and see the vista God has arranged, layers of responsibility are shed as I recognise my own insignificance and rejoice in the Big Picture.

With the world in the mess it is just now, threats and violence commonplace, it is easy to keep my head down and my focus on such things. When I lift my eyes to the hills, to the heavens – when I shift my gaze from the chaos to the peace of God, my soul is restored and refreshed. 

I don’t get it. The world is full of violence and misery, of injustice and pain, and yet we have a great God, a loving God who created a beautiful world and who is all powerful. There is a paradox which I accept: a loving God, all powerful, who does not fix the misery but allows it to continue. I explain it by recognising that this loving God has granted us free will, so that we will choose to love him and not love him out of duress. Loving him brings with it the concomitants of peace and joy and hope, so what’s not to love? 

Perversely, rebellion tempts us at every turn and with rebellion come disharmony and mayhem. So today, I lift my eyes to the hills and pause, breathing slowly and rhythmically, focusing on the God who loves us so much that he died for us. Such love. 

May you take time to pause today when things overwhelm, when temptations rise, when despair beckons. Lift your eyes and adjust your perspective. And be refreshed.

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