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Losses are hard. No one likes to go through it. Whether it’s losing a loved one, losing a job or relationship, or seeing something you’ve worked so hard for go up in flames, it can leave you feeling disoriented and helpless. One moment we find ourselves going about our day in confidence, feeling strong and secure in God’s provision. The next moment we feel like we have lost all sense of control. Where do we look in times like this? What can bring us back to that place of confidence?

Walter Brueggemann categorizes the psalms three ways. There are psalms of orientation—the ones that are filled with praise to God because the psalmist is simply filled with confidence and gratitude. Then there are psalms of disorientation—the ones we don’t always know what to do with. They’re filled with raw emotions of anger, confusion, lament, despair, even a little vengeance at times. Finally, there are psalms of reorientation. After we’ve been through the disorienting stage and seen God’s faithfulness through it, now we can look back and praise God from a place of confidence in him again.

Psalm 121 is one of reorientation.

That’s where the presence of God draws us our gaze upward from the darkness we face to the beauty of God. Psalm 121 says,

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

When we look upward through our crisis, we remember that our help comes from the Lord. He helps us in all our troubles, he never leaves us, and he is our salvation. He is always watching over us in his living protection.

Practically speaking, what helps reorient us back to the presence of God? First, the Spirit of God speaking through the Word of God. That’s one of the reasons we meditate on scripture—so we can remember the truth of God’s Word when we need it most.

Secondly, the community of faith is a big one. Seeing people come alongside you in your time of need, offering a helping hand, a comforting word, or simply a loving presence can help us see God watching over us in tangible ways.

I am grateful for a community like that. I have both personally experienced the Christian community at work and witnessed it on behalf of others this week. It helps us fix our eyes upwards on God’s loving presence. That is where our help truly comes from. We can praise God in confidence today knowing he cares for us through good times and difficult ones.

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