I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
From whence shall come my help? (Psalm 121:1 NABRE)

In the Old Testament God makes Himself known on a mountain, Mt. Horab in Exodus chapter 3. The people of Israel were slaves for 430 years in Egypt, and their help came from God and Moses, from the encounter the two of them had on Mt. Horab “the mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1). The writer of the Psalm is thinking back to that encounter, some 500 years earlier. Psalm 121 has a confidence to it. There is a strong assurance that God will help all those who ask. In my ministry to patients in Hospice Care, Psalm 121 is one of the prayers I pray with almost every patient. I especially pray this Psalm with patients in transition and those who are actively dying.

Looking to the mountains for God is different from looking to heaven for God. Heaven can seam so far away, and even incompressible. How do we, how can we, think of God in heaven? Thinking of God on a mountain makes our encounter with Him more real, more possible. Climbing to the top of a mountain seams possible, if we prepare and train. God wants an encounter with us, so He comes down from heaven and meets us on His mountain. We have to cooperate in this encounter, we need to give the effort to climb the mountain just as Moses did, and that climb starts by looking up at the mountain and seeing that God awaits us at the top.

Note: The analogy used here is that the effort we spend to climb a mountain is the effort we need to spend on prayer.

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