EL ELYON: most high God
I grew up camping and hiking in the High Sierras. Some of my earliest memories involve wading through rock-strewn streams in my keds; sliding down ledges, and clambering up hot granite boulders to keep up with my dad. My brother ambushed us with pinecone grenades launched from strategic hiding places within massive Sequoias. I remember collecting moss and pretty rocks for our outdoor dinner table and screaming hysterically at lizards and snakes.
The heavy scent of sun-warmed pine needles awakens memories of worry-free days of a childhood kissed with laughter and freedom. There is just something so safe about a canvas tent tucked in amongst towering trees. My father’s gentle snoring just inches away made all the darkness magical, while my mother’s pancakes on metal plates and bubbling hot cocoa with melted marshmallows welcomed us every morning.
Yet childhoods fade and life grows up and memories are replaced with the jarring voices of real life.
And some days are just overwhelming.
That’s where God steps in, instructing us through His real-life, poetry producing servant, David, how to keep from sinking into the mud and mire of real life.
I took my troubles to the LORD;
I cried out to Him…
How I suffer among these scoundrels…
It pains me to live with these people…
I am tired of living here…
I look up to the mountains—
Does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made the heaven and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall;
The One who watches over you will not sleep
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
Never tires and never sleeps.
The Lord Himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not hurt you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord keeps you from all evil
And preserves your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
Both now and forever.
Psalm 120,121 NLT
Way too often, I find myself scurrying haphazardly from problem to problem, slapping band-aids on all the scratches that leave me poked and bleeding. I try involving others, talking to friends. I follow steps to untangle my messes. I read books and listen to Dr’s and Oprah’s and still the real stuff sinks me.
And then, suddenly, my eye catches on that glint from way up there. The Most High One. Way up at the tippy-top of those great mountain peaks, David discovered the enormity of his God. Hovering high above all these troubles is One who watches with love filled eyes.
In fact, just looking up to find Him helps.
High above all that troubles me, He sees and knows and catches me when I stumble.
He knows what’s just around the bend.
He knows about those criticisms that leave me stinging.
He’s followed all my failures and inadequacies.
He sees my list and knows I’ll never get it done.
The apostle Paul knew this way to hope too. In his letter to the Colossians, he wrote,
…keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not the things that are on earth.
In other words, look up. Way up. Wrestle your mind away from all those worries. Set your vision on the One who is so high above them that He knows what to do. It all looks different up there—clearer.
And when I do, my heart soars! He brings me back to that place where all feels safe. Back into His shelter where I can hear Him breathe those words of hope. Way up there, seated beside Him I know peace.
And even joy.
For He is my God. The Most High God. El Elyon.
And He’s yours too.
From my heart,
Some more Scriptures to hold on to:
Luke 1:30-32 (the words He gave to help Mary through her reality)
Isaiah 55:8,9 Psalm 107
And every story of rescue He included in His Word… just so you’ll know He’ll do the same for you: Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Mary Magdalene- read them all and remember to look up!