Early in the morning while visiting the wine country of California, my host had a surprise for me.
After driving several miles in the dark, our car turned into a large vineyard. Several workers were bustling in a large open area located on the rise of a hill. My jaw dropped when I saw the bright colorful canvasses unfurled on the ground. Within minutes of our arrival, the flames shot out to begin inflating these large beautiful canvasses.
I was about to take my first hot air balloon ride.
“I life up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
The sun was just peaking over the horizon when our basket slowly lifted up. And, I admit, I was doing my best to ground my fear of heights. The Lord heard my prayer with an amazing experience. He allowed me to experience the stillness of being suspended in the air – to fly like the birds in the quietness of the dawn. I met the presence of God in a new way. Not only marveling at the creation below, but plainly seeing the fingerprints of God while scanning the horizon.
Maybe God did create the mountains to remind us that He is God – That He is our Maker – That He is our help in times of need. When life becomes exceptionally busy and challenges, worries, or frustrations become overwhelming, we are tempted to cry out like the psalmist, “Where does MY help come from?”
Where can we turn to for patience, strength, even guidance?
The surrounding California hills on that beautiful sunny morning reminded me that the answer does not necessarily rest on where, but on Who. We can turn to our Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, trusting that He deeply cares about us, knows our circumstances and has us right where He wants us to be. I was comforted by the Truth that through His presence, I can be a help to those whom He has created and are turning to for strength and guidance.
When riding in a hot air balloon, I was no longer the focus of my attention or my fears, but rested on His assuring presence. I gazed from the east to the west and knew that my sins were forgiven as far as I could see. Emptied. Forgotten. Secure in His grace.
When the trip ended and we safely settled on the ground below, the question that loomed in my mind was how I was going to respond. How could I apply what the Lord taught me that morning?
I learned to take time out from the busyness of life and look for the fingerprints of God around me. Far more beautiful than the glistening hills from a rising sun, are the souls God has created before me. In the stillness of the air soaring above His creation, we are given a different lens to see the world and the people for God has created in His own image.
I learned to trust that God is using me right now in the lives of others. All believers possess the fingerprints of God. Together, we are introducing the presence of Christ with our words and actions. And it seems that when life gets most difficult is when the light of Christ shines the brightest in how we respond to it.
Ask the Lord for help to answer the question, “Where does my help come from?” Ask the Lord to help you gaze upon the hills and see His fingerprints. Trust that God is with you and He lifts you up, like a hot air balloon, to see what He sees. Believe in His promises and embrace His presence in the calming stillness of His Word.
For only in Christ, we witness well!