Advent Devotional December 14: An Ever Present Help

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. Psalm 121

By Jane Jefferies

During Christmas of 2015 my daughter-in-law, Alison, was in the midst of her battle with cancer, and I was filled with fear. I was afraid for Alison, of course, but also for my son and their precious children. That wonderful admonition of the angels to "fear not" just wasn't getti ng through to me.

Through it all, Alison was walking calmly, taking one day at a time, filled with the conviction that all would be well. I know there were days when she felt wretched and when nothing seemed to be going right. However, the spirit she conveyed to those around her was a profound confidence in a positive outcome.

I was bewildered by (and a little jealous of) her ability to do this. I realized what I was seeing was a faith and trust in the goodness of God that can too often desert us when we need it most. I was reminded of a commentary I once read on Psalm 121. It stated this was a song for the journey to Jerusalem, and those hills were not necessarily a sanctuary. They were dotted with caves filled with those that could threaten their safety. It is not a statement that the hills were a source of help for the next line is a question – one we all ask when we are in trouble. From where does my help come? Alison showed me the gift of peace that comes from understanding the source of your help is God.

So, this Christmas when I hear "fear not," I will know it is possible, because I watched someone who in a most difficult year still made it a season of good tidings and great joy.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of your Son who has shown us your perfect love. Help us to face each day with the knowledge that this perfect love casts out fear. Amen.

Jane Jefferies was baptized at South Main as a child. She and Brian are pleased to have their son Robert, his wife Alison, and their children Jenna (11) and Ruby (8) with them at South Main.

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