“It is so easy to be hopeful in the day time when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands...They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.” (Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God , 1937)
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
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.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. (ESV)
What is your focal point? Seriously, on what do you spend most of your energy? Are you the type of person who lives in the moment? Do you take it one day at a time? Are you a compulsive planner? What consumes you?
Sometimes we can be overly focused on the here and now. With all the pain, suffering, hardships, and injustices we face right now, how can one not be focused on what is in front of her or him? I’ll tell you how. Look to the hills. It’s that simple. The imagery given by the Psalmist is echoed by Zora Neal Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God . No matter how dark it is, keep your focus beyond the darkness. For beyond, the darkness, you can see the God of the darkness and the light. You may not be on the hill and in view of light at this moment, but the same God who reigns on the hill reigns in the valley. Keep your focal point in view, and, when they try to position you in a dark place, peer through the darkness. Others may not understand, but you know what you see!