We’re often taught from childhood to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps – that life depends on us to figure things out and to work hard enough to make it. And certainly there is some truth here. But often we overextend this and assume we must do life on our own apart from God.
And this is rarely a conscious distrust of God. On the surface, we would still say we trust him. And perhaps we do still pray for his guidance on the major decisions of life.
But our practice of everyday living tells a different story.
For instance, we tend to redouble our efforts to make things work whenever life gets hard. We’re tempted to burn the candle at both ends – neglecting our Sabbaths and meaningful time with others in order to get a job done.
Of course, there are seasons in which more is required of us and we will fail somewhere. But we’re likely relying on our own strength instead of God’s when we become increasingly ineffective and depleted throughout our life and relationships.
And besides relying on ourselves, there are also times in which we’re more prone to look to community leaders or social policies to resolve the problems of our life.
While certainly there’s a place to be an informed citizen, actively involved in building better communities, and wisely using every available and helpful resource we have, we only frustrate ourselves when we expect these things to fill us up as only God can.
With the Psalmist, we must remember to look to the hills for our help – to God, the maker of heaven and earth.
This is not to suggest we don’t still have a part to play, or that we must neglect any of the other helpful resources God provides.
But it does remind us to keep our eyes on the one who intimately sees our situation and is powerful enough to protect us from ultimate harm and provide exactly what our souls need.
In the end, when the day is long and trouble is on every side, remember to look to God who watches over you both now and forever.