A Psalm for Travelers

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.Psalm 121:8 (NIV)

Traveling at this time of the year (one of the busiest times of the year) can be a harrowing experience especially for the infrequent traveler who isn’t used to traveling long distances on a regular basis. Even for the seasoned traveler, crowds and lines at airports can be daunting, as can also be the case on crowded highways if traveling by car. Even weather is a major factor in traveling at this time of year with winter quickly approaching.

While I am not traveling this year during the holiday season, I came across an article published by The United Methodist Church titled, Psalm 121: A Prayer for Travelers,” that I thought would be a great comfort to those folks who are traveling at this time of year (or at any time during the year). The article states:

Whether traveling overseas or around the corner, starting a new job or a new family, we embark on all kinds of journeys. Life itself can be a long and winding road, but as Christians, a life dedicated to God is not one defined by standing still, and our faith assures us that we will never travel that road alone.

Titled “A Song of Ascents” in Scripture, Psalm 121 marks life’s journeys. The sacred song is believed to have been sung by pilgrims traveling the ancient road to Jerusalem but, over the ages, has become known to many by a more familiar name:The Traveler’s Psalm.” The words serve as a guide for the journey and a reminder God is watching over us every step of the way.

You are encouraged to use this video meditation [see YouTube Video below] as a source of comfort as you commence, continue, or conclude your journey. This short segment is easy to share or download and can be used in a wide variety of church settings, such as before or during worship, in Sunday school classes, or in small groups. (Quote source here.)

[The video at the bottom of this blog was produced by The United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN. Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458. This video was first posted in July, 2015. The images in this video were taken by photographers from various United Methodist conferences and agencies.]

Here are the words from Psalm 121 (NIV):

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

A decade ago I placed a small magnet with the words from Psalm 121 on the refrigerator door in an apartment I had just moved into in a new city and state where I was starting a new job. Every morning when I got into my refrigerator it was a constant reminder to me that nothing was going to happen that day that the Lord wasn’t watching over.

The job only last seven months, and I only lived in that apartment for one year (I had signed a one-year lease never dreaming that the job wouldn’t last even that long). Ten years and a whole lot of miles and experiences later, I am very much aware of just how true these words from Psalm 121 have been and continue to be in my life.

May these words be a daily comfort and constant reminder as we travel through life’s journeys wherever they take us. And as I’ve experienced in my own life, some of those places are totally unexpected. However, God is there in the midst of every single one of them.

I will lift up my eyes until to mountains–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord . . .

The Maker . . .

Of Heaven . . .

And Earth . . . .

YouTube Video: “Psalm 121: A Prayer for Travelers” by The United Methodist Church:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit
here