In making plans to travel to the south west of France to visit our family, Paul and I decided to try the bus from our house in York to Leeds Bus Station and then take a further bus to Leeds airport (all of which is free for us as senior citizens). However, the reality of life at the moment is that buses can quite often be cancelled at the last moment and not turn up. So, it was hard not to worry in case circumstances beyond my control would end up ruining our plans.
One thing that was within my control was how much luggage to take. With the aim of travelling as light as possible for a week’s holiday, I made a list of essential items. Yet, inevitably, when we got there, I discovered I had left behind a few things.
I sometimes think about that final journey when we go to be with the Lord. It is comforting to know that we are not in danger of not failing to reach our destination and we don’t have to pack a thing. All we need will be provided.
Psalm 121, a song of ascents, came to my mind. It’s all about taking a journey to Jerusalem. I wondered if those travellers might have been anxious about the journey as they looked up to the hills they had to climb. But this psalm encourages the travellers to put their trust in the Lord who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2).
He would keep them safe from slipping and falling on rocky pathways. He would protect them from danger day and night, ‘The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night’ (Psalm 121:5-6).
They would reach their destination and return home again. ‘The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore’ (Psalm 121:8). I believed the Lord was giving this psalm to me as a personal promise. Each time I thought “What if something goes wrong?”, I chose to take captive that anxious thought (2 Corinthians 10:5), and replace it with Psalm 121:8.
As it happens, the bus to Leeds arrived exactly on time and we only had thirty seconds to spare as we got on the bus to the airport. We had time to relax and have coffee and sandwiches in the airport. It could not have been better. We were so thankful to the Lord.
This psalm, however, is not just about protection for a particular journey, but for the whole of our lives, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life’ (Psalm 121:7). We are safe under the Lord’s protection now and forevermore, into all eternity.
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