Hand-me-down Bibles: Reminding Ourselves and Others to Leave the Heavy Lifting to God

“I lift up my eyes to the hills,” he began.

“Hold on, G,” I interrupted him, “I just read this verse this morning. It was my emailed Bible verse of the day, and that’s the verse you chose to read. Isn’t that cool?”

Before you credit us with any diligence when it comes to morning spiritual growth before school, you should know that Grady was reading this Bible verse because our devotional was camouflaged amongst the heaps of junk scattered across our floor. Still, the boy took the initiative to run to his room and grab the Bible Scott had passed down to him, and he chose the passage to read for the morning:

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. -Psalm 121

I found out Grady’s criteria for reading this passage was two-fold. 1. It was short. 2. It had been starred by his father and the words “This helps me so much” were scrawled in his dad’s handwriting above the verses.

Grady knew this passage was important to his dad, which meant it was important to him.

We talked about the psalm and I mentioned how amazing it was to think that God never sleeps- that He is always keeping us. My middle daughter responded, “Yeah, but Mom, we already knew that.”

Praise Jesus, I have a daughter who knows God is keeping her, and a son who reads what His dad has marked as a reminder. And while I often see my life as one big task to make sure I do things right, really I am just called to be a reminder. That’s all any of us are really called to be.

We are not called to make every right decision for every circumstance we enter- even the ones we have never encountered before. We are called to be a reminder of the God who forgives when bad decisions and mistakes are made.

We are not called to put on the perfect face and have the perfect family, home, job, decor. We are called to be a reminder of the God who makes it His business to enter our messes and love us deeply in them.

We are not called to do everything possible to make sure we lead an accomplished life here on earth. We are called to be a reminder of the God who is preparing a whole other place for us to be together for eternity.

We are not called to invent new ways to change people’s hearts. We are called to remind people of the mighty power of God who changes our own hardened hearts.

When our minds are focused on what we must accomplish, that is the very moment we must be re-minded, and reminders.

And while putting on the perfect facade, or stressing the importance of making the right decisions, or developing new strategies for affecting those around us might at times seem easier, the illusion of control that is at the root of all those plans is shaky at best, sinful at worst. Psalm 121 really sums it up best. Reread it if necessary. Who is our help? The maker of heaven and earth.

It snowballs from there: The Lord… the Lord… the Lord. The Lord is our keeper, our shade, forever. It is really all on Him. We can take the weight off now- He has the whole world in His hands.

We are only reminders in need of reminders. Let’s not hesitate to remind each other about the God we serve.

And if at the end of our lives the only good thing people remember about us is our reminders of a loving God, then the race was well run.

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